Columbus police used Facebook Messenger to set up a $1,700 buy-back deal for a stolen Honda dirt bike in the Family Dollar parking lot, an undercover officer testified Thursday in Recorder’s Court.
Police initially charged Jeremy L. Jones, 41, Deanthony Bailey, 21, Quanetaviou Farley, 18, and a fourth suspect during the 5:30 p.m. Tuesday exchange at 3438 Buena Vista Road. Jones, Bailey and the third suspect were charged with criminal attempted armed robbery while Farley was charged with one count each of criminal attempted armed robbery, theft by receiving stolen property, possession of a firearm during the commission of a crime and obstruction of a law enforcement officer.
Before the hearing, Detective Ray Harralson was granted his request by Judge Mary Buckner to dismiss charges against Jones, Bailey and the third suspect. Farley pleaded not guilty to all charges before Buckner set bonds totaling $20,250 and bound charges over to Superior Court.
Harralson said police were investigating the theft of a 2000 Honda dirt bike when another officer used the victim’s phone to set up an exchange for cash with the suspect at the Family Dollar. The price was set at $1,700 cash to get the dirt bike.
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In the parking lot, Harralson said he saw Farley ride the bike to the parking lot. He had a few words with the seller and walked around to the passenger side of his vehicle to get cash out of a bookbag. At the same time, the officer said a black SUV pulled into the parking lot with tires squealing while Farley reached into his waistband.
Harralson said the SUV looked as though the occupants were there to assist Farley. The officer said he pulled his pistol and ordered Farley to get his hand out of his pocket while additional officers arrived to assist him.
Farley was taken into custody without incident and officers found a 9 mm pistol inside his waist. The criminal attempted armed robbery charge was based on the suspect’s actions in the parking lot. The officer felt the armed man was going to rob him of the money for the dirt bike.
Farley’s public defender Owen Lynch asked the judge to dismiss the charge because the gun was never seen. Buckner denied the request on the attempted robbery charge.