Three men were charged in federal court Tuesday for their roles in a series of armed business robberies in Kansas City and Independence, MO over the past week.

The U.S. Attorney's Office says that 18-year old Vonterrious Humbert, 19-year old Tremaine Johnson, and 18-year old Henry Simmons, were charged in a criminal complaint with participating in a conspiracy to commit armed robberies and with using a firearm in relation to a crime of violence. They remain in federal custody pending a detention hearing, which has not yet been scheduled.

Humbert, Johnson and Simmons were arrested on November 27, following the early-morning armed robbery of a Phillips 66 convenience store and the attempted robbery of a Taco Bell on N.W. Barry Road in Kansas City, MO. Two juvenile males were also taken into custody but are not identified in court documents and are not charged in the federal complaint.

According to an affidavit filed in support of the criminal complaint, the conspiracy included eight additional business robberies: five armed robberies of 7-Eleven convenience stores in Independence and Kansas City in the early morning hours of  November 21, 2018, and three armed robberies of a Domino’s Pizza, a 7-Eleven convenience store and a Sinclair convenience store in Kansas City, during the early morning hours of November 25.

A Dodge Durango SUV was reportedly identified by witnesses at some of the robberies.

On November 26, law enforcement observed Humbert, Johnson, Simmons and the two juveniles traveling in a 2003 Dodge Durango to approximately 15 to 20 convenience stores, fast-food restaurants and other businesses that were open late or operated 24 hours a day.

According to the affidavit, officers believed they were casing the businesses – making repetitive passes by these businesses in a slow, surveillance-like manner, in advance of initiating a robbery.

At approximately 2:30 Tuesday morning, the vehicle reportedly arrived at the shopping area at N.W. Barry Road and Ambassador Drive in Kansas City. The vehicle parked at a nearby apartment complex. According to the affidavit our individuals got out of the vehicle, with Humbert and Johnson walking across the street to Phillips 66 while Simmons and a juvenile male walked to the Taco Bell.

The affidavit indicates that Humbert and Johnson robbed the Phillips 66 store at gunpoint, stealing approximately $400, then ran back across the street toward a wooded area near the apartment complex. Johnson and Humbert were pursued into a strip mall area near the apartment complex. Both were apprehended nearby and were found to have discarded the firearms they possessed at the time of the robbery – a Taurus handgun with a laser sight and an SKS-type 7.62x39mm rifle.

As the robbery was occurring, Simmons and the juvenile were allegedly attempting to rob the Taco Bell. Authorities say they both had firearms when law enforcement officers approached them, which they attempted to discard at the time of their arrest. Officers retrieved a loaded Taurus 9mm semi-automatic handgun with a laser sight and a loaded Ruger 9mm semi-automatic handgun.

A second juvenile male was identified as the driver and sole occupant of the Dodge Durango SUV at the time of the arrests. Officers searched the vehicle and found a loaded Glock .40-caliber semi-automatic handgun and a jar containing marijuana.

Hemera Technologies, ThinkStock

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