By Michelle James
BECKLEY, W.Va. — The Youngstown, Ohio, trio arrested near Pipestem early Saturday for the alleged theft of more than $7 million in cash and checks from an armored car company were ordered transferred to northern Ohio Wednesday where they will face a three-count indictment handed down by a federal grand jury in Cleveland.
At the request of assistant prosecutor John File, U.S. Magistrate Clarke VanDervort dismissed a pending charge in West Virginia against 48-year-old Sharon Lee Gregory, freeing her, her son Roger Lee Dillon, 22, and his girlfriend, Nicole N. Boyd, 24, to return to face the charges in Ohio.
The trio, who are currently being held in Southern Regional Jail until they are transferred to Ohio, listened quietly as VanDervort explained their rights and informed them they could avoid prosecution in Ohio by pleading guilty to the charges in West Virginia.
Gregory’s lawyer Christian Capece, Boyd’s attorney Kimberly Mann and Dillon’s lawyer Richard Gunnoe explained the situation to their clients who decided to continue with the transfer.
VanDervort ordered the three detained until further proceedings in Ohio, adding he believed they posed a flight risk.
Prior to the start of the hearing, Boyd openly wept as she and Dillon spoke quietly. Gregory pointed out Boyd’s father seated in the back of the courtroom, and when Boyd turned around to acknoweldege him, he mouthed, “I love you,” before putting his hands to his face and crying.
According to the indictment, which was handed down Wednesday, sometime in October, the trio began conspiring to steal money from Liberty, Ohio’s AT Systems, an armored car company for which Dillon was employed as a courier and driver.
All three were charged with conspiracy to steal United States currency belonging to a federally insured bank and with conspiring to transport stolen property in interstate commerce. Also, Dillon and Boyd were charged with theft of federally insured bank money and property.
The indictment further states Dillon, who was familiar with the security cameras in the AT Systems building and knew the combination to the safe where checks, property and currency was stored, obtained another employee’s access code enabling him to enter the building after hours.
Also in October, Boyd and Dillon allegedly traveled to Pipestem to look for a “safe house” in which to stay after the heist.
On Nov. 26, the indictment alleges Boyd and Gregory purchased a a 1989 GMC Safari van in Youngstown and asked the dealer to remove the rear seats. Later that day, the indictment states, Gregory drove her Oldsmobile sedan to Pipestem.
That evening, Dillon and Boyd allegedly entered the AT Systems building, stealing $7.4 million in cash and checks, which they transported to the trailer they had rented in Pipestem where Gregory waited.
The three were arrested early Saturday after receipts found in another vehicle led FBI agents to believe they might be in the Beckley area.
Michelle James writes for The Register-Herald in Beckley, W.Va.