U.S. Attorney’s Office
District of Kansas
(316) 269-6481
November 12, 2014

Federal Indictment: Topeka Store Clerk Aided in Robbery, Carjacking

WICHITA, KS—A Topeka store clerk was indicted here Wednesday on federal charges of aiding and abetting an armed robbery and carjacking at the store where he worked, U.S. Attorney Barry Grissom said.

Ahmad Salim Salti, 20, Topeka, Kan., was charged with one count of aiding and abetting armed robbery, one count of aiding and abetting carjacking and one count of aiding and abetting the brandishing of a firearm during the robbery.

The indictment alleged that Salti aided and abetted a Sept. 16, 2014, armed robbery and carjacking at the Low Cost Plus convenience store at 3101 S.E. 6th Avenue in Topeka.

In September, Pattrick J. Towner, 24, Topeka, Kan., was indicted on one count of armed robbery and one count of carjacking. According to court documents, on Sept. 16, 2014, Towner held at gunpoint a technician who was working on the ATM in the Low Cost Plus convenience store. Towner forced the technician to give him the keys to a Ford Freestar van containing cash used for restocking ATMs. Then Towner fled with the van.

If convicted, Salti faces a maximum penalty of 20 years in federal prison and a fine up to $250,000 on the robbery charge, a maximum penalty of 15 years and a fine up to $250,000 on the carjacking charge, and a penalty of not less than seven years and a fine up to $250,000 on the charge of brandishing a firearm. The Topeka Police Department and the FBI investigated. Assistant U.S. Attorney Jared Maag is prosecuting.

OTHER INDICTMENTS

Leo Jimenez, 25, Adelanto, Calif., and Monica Sarenana, 25, Chino Hills, Calif., are charged with one count of conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine, one count of possession with intent to distribute approximately 5 kilograms of methamphetamine, and one count each of traveling from California to Kansas in furtherance of drug trafficking. The crimes are alleged to have occurred Nov. 6, 2014, in Ellis County, Kan.

Upon conviction, the crimes carry the following penalties:

  • Conspiracy and possession with intent to distribute: Not less than 10 years and a fine up to $4 million.
  • Interstate travel in furtherance of drug trafficking: A maximum penalty of five years and a fine up to $250,000.

The Drug Enforcement Administration investigated. Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Michelle Jacobs is prosecuting.

Briand L. Welch, 33, is charged with one count of possession with intent to distribute cocaine, one count of possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine, one count of possession with intent to distribute marijuana, one count of possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine on a premises where children reside and one count of unlawful possession of a firearm following a felony conviction. The crimes are alleged to have occurred May 22, 2013, in Sedgwick County, Kan.

If convicted, he faces a maximum penalty of 20 years in federal prison and a fine up to $1 million on each of the drug charges and a maximum penalty of 10 years and a fine up to $250,000 on the firearm charge. The Drug Enforcement Administration investigated. Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Michelle Jacobs is prosecuting.

Charles Taylor, 43, Wichita, Kan., is charged with escaping from federal custody at Mirror Inc., Incorporated, which is a halfway-house at 3820 N. Toben in Wichita. The crime is alleged to have occurred Oct. 22, 2014.

If convicted, he faces a maximum penalty of five years and a fine up to $250,000. The U.S. Marshals Service investigated. Assistant U.S. Attorney Jason Hart is prosecuting.

David E. Parker, 27, Wichita, Kan., is charged with two counts of unlawful possession of a firearm following a felony conviction, and one count of unlawful possession of ammunition following a felony conviction. The crimes are alleged to have occurred in October 2013 and July 2014, in Sedgwick County, Kan.

If convicted he faces a maximum penalty of 10 years in federal prison and a fine up to $250,000 on each count. The Sedgwick County Sheriff’s Office, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives investigated. Assistant U.S. Attorney Mona Furst is prosecuting.

Toni R. Beerbower, 40, Redfield, Kan., is charged with one count of theft of federal funds and three counts of making false statements. The indictment alleges she fraudulently received more than $150,000 from the Dependency Indemnity Compensation (DIC) program that provides benefits to eligible survivors of U.S. military service members who die in the line of duty or from a military service related injury or disease. The crime is alleged to have occurred from April 2001 to September 2014 in Bourbon County, Kan.

If convicted, she faces a maximum penalty of 10 years in federal prison and a fine up to $250,000 on the theft charge, and a maximum penalty of five years and a fine up to $250,000 on each of the other counts. The Veterans Administration—Office of Inspector General investigated. Assistant U.S. Attorney Lanny Welch is prosecuting.

Francisco Guadalupe Banuelas-Carpio, 30, a citizen of Mexico, is charged with unlawfully re-entering the United States after being deported. He was found Oct. 22, 2014, in Sedgwick County, Kan.

If convicted, he faces a maximum penalty of two years and a fine up to $250,000. Immigration and Custom Enforcement’s Enforcement and Removal Operations investigated. Assistant U.S. Attorney Brent Anderson is prosecuting.

Brandon Thomas Finnesy, 25, Plainsville, Kan., is charged with one count of unlawful possession of a firearm following a felony conviction. The crime is alleged to have occurred July 7, 2014, in Ellis County, Kan.

If convicted, he faces a maximum penalty of 10 years and a fine up to $250,000. The Kansas Bureau of Investigation investigated. Assistant U.S. Attorney Matt Treaster is prosecuting.

Lamont Alfonzo Ward, Jr., 24, is charged with one count of possession with intent to distribute crack cocaine, one count of unlawful possession of a firearm following a felony conviction and one count of unlawful possession of a firearm in furtherance of drug trafficking. The crimes are alleged to have occurred May 8, 2013, in Geary County, Kan.

If convicted, he faces a maximum penalty of 20 years and a fine up to $1 million on the drug charge, a maximum penalty of 10 years and a fine up to $250,000 on the charge of unlawful possession of a firearm by a felon, and a penalty of not less than five years on the charge of unlawful possession of a firearm in furtherance of drug trafficking. The Junction City Police Department and the Kansas Bureau of Investigation investigated. Assistant U.S. Attorney Tony Mattivi is prosecuting.

In all cases, defendants are presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty. The indictments merely contain allegations of criminal conduct.

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