Crime

2 charged with robbery after drug deal gone awry

Alameda County district attorney’s office seal, via Facebook.

Alameda County district attorney’s office seal, via Facebook.

The Alameda County district attorney’s office has charged two Richmond men with robbery after they allegedly stole marijuana from a third man during an attempted drug deal near the Berkeley Pier, according to court documents.

The robbery took place Oct. 4 when the three met up for the deal, which had been arranged in advance by phone, according to authorities. During the deal, one of the buyers, later identified as Jamon Baptiste Ward, grabbed the marijuana from the seller while the other buyer, identified as Cortez Barber, “simulated a gun underneath his shirt,” police said.

The seller backed away and the duo fled in a vehicle from University Avenue and Seawall Drive, where the meeting had taken place. Police said the seller took a photo of their license plate as they drove off at 5 p.m.

Police said Ward’s cell phone number matched the one used to arrange the deal, and that the vehicle used in the getaway was registered to Ward’s mother.

The seller picked Ward out of a photo line-up and identified him as one of the suspects in the robbery.

Ward, 21, was arrested on a warrant Oct. 10 after being picked up following another robbery in Berkeley. Police said in court documents that he admitted to meeting with the victim Oct. 4, “but did not admit to robbing him.”

In a document related to Barber’s arrest, police said Barber and Ward were among a group of four males linked to the cell phone robbery of a “lone female” in the early morning hours of Thursday, Oct. 10. According to crimemapping.com, the incident took place at Fulton Street and Channing Way at 3:30 a.m.

The victim called police after the robbery and, within 30 minutes of the crime, officers stopped a vehicle in Albany that matched the description she provided. The victim identified Barber and another man in the vehicle, Omarde Wilson, as the ones who robbed her, and police found her property in the vehicle, according to court documents. Ward was also in the car.

Police arrested Barber, 22, and Wilson, who is no longer in custody, according to court papers. Ward was arrested on a warrant connected with the earlier case. The fourth man was not named in court papers or listed on the dockets connected to either case.

Police said Wilson admitted during an interview that he, Ward and Barber had recently committed a robbery where they took marijuana from someone. Barber matched the description of the second robber in that crime, and the victim identified him via a photo line-up, according to authorities.

Police said Barber admitted during an interview that he was responsible for that robbery.

Ward and Barber were charged Oct. 29 with second-degree robbery in connection with the marijuana theft case; the district attorney’s office said they could be eligible for state prison if convicted.

Authorities also noted that Ward was convicted in 2011 of felony receipt of stolen property in Alameda County, and received a sentence of probation as a result.

Ward and Barber were scheduled for a preliminary examination hearing Oct. 30 at the Wiley W. Manuel Courthouse in downtown Oakland.

Barber is being held on a combined bail of $100,000 at Santa Rita Jail in connection with both cases. Ward is being held at Santa Rita with a bail of $55,000.

According to the Alameda County sheriff’s department, Wilson has been linked with the Oct. 10 robbery; he is not in custody but is scheduled for a summary judgment hearing May 7, 2014, at the Wiley Manuel Courthouse. Charging information for that case was not available.

Related:
Police arrest Berkeley man with guns after robbery (10.14.13)
Police arrest 4 linked to firearms, meth sales bust (09.20.13)
Probationer found with 77-plant marijuana grow (08.30.13)
Police arrest alleged drug dealer with loaded gun (05.30.13)
Berkeley couple arrested with unregistered gun stash (05.06.13)
Ecstasy, guns, marijuana seized during arrest of felon (02.11.13)
4 charged with 12 felonies; search nets drugs, guns, cash (01.29.13)

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  • punaise

    Just curious – what about the seller. No charges?

  • bgal4

    Gone awry? more like a set up.

  • serkes

    Perhaps it’s the criminal law equivalent of a double negative.

    Ira

  • punaise

    rather than eye for an eye justice, “a high for a high”

  • guest

    I’m curious about that too. My best guess would be that this was an arranged Medical Marijuana delivery? And therefore the seller was under the impression that it was going to be a legal (as far as BPD would be concerned, anyway) transaction?

  • Woolsey

    Yes, many medical marijuana deliveries take place next to the Berkeley pier. It’s a good place to do business….

  • emraguso

    I can ask BPD but he’s not in custody and I haven’t seen his name come up in the arrest logs. (I could have missed it though.)