Cops say a routine robbery arrest in Jericho became complicated when one of the victims turned out to be an apparent co-conspirator.
According to authorities, Ryan E. Diaz, 20, was with a 17-year-old resident in Jericho, when suspect Eric D. James entered through an unlocked front door while wearing a white mask. Cops say James pulled a gun on the 17-year-old and demanded money. After the victim explained he had no cash, James ordered Diaz and the victim into the bedroom, where he forcibly removed a Rolex watch from Diaz, then demanded drugs after seeing drug paraphernalia on the closet floor. The victim complied and handed over a bag containing either marijuana or a synthetic marijuana. Cops say the defendant fled on foot.
While cops and canine units were searching the area, a 2003 Nissan Altima was seen traveling at a high rate of speed and passing stop signs on Birch Park Drive. Cops stopped the car and found the driver matched the description of James. He was placed under arrest without incident, police say.
After an investigation, it was found that Diaz was a co-conspirator in the robbery.
James is charged with first-degree robbery, first-degree burglary, third-degree criminal possession of a weapon, seventh-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance, criminal possession of marijuana and vehicle and traffic law violations.
For his role in the crime, Diaz is charged with second-degree robbery and making a false written statement.