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Two arrested in alleged robbery stemming from drug deal

Two Vancouver men appeared Friday in Clark County Superior Court on suspicion of robbery for allegedly setting up another man who was trying to buy cocaine.

Vancouver police were dispatched shortly after 6 p.m. Thursday for a report of an armed robbery that happened near Ellsworth Elementary School, 10412 S.E. Fifth St. Robert Carter told police he was robbed by three men, two of whom were armed with guns, according to a probable cause affidavit.

Carter said he contacted a man, identified in court records as Jonathan J. Wright, 25, through Snapchat to buy cocaine. Wright and Miguel E. Melendez, 21, picked up Carter in a blue Crown Victoria before rendezvousing with a third, unidentified suspect at the elementary school, according to the affidavit. From there, the group went to a nearby Arby’s restaurant.

Once they had parked, Wright, who was in the passenger’s seat, exited the car while talking on the phone. Melendez turned around with a black pistol, pushed the barrel of the gun into Carter’s throat and threatened to kill him, stating, “I just got out of DOC (prison),” the affidavit says.

The third suspect held Carter down while Wright opened the door armed with a firearm. Wright also threatened to kill Carter and struck him with his hands before rummaging through the victim’s pockets. They stole Carter’s backpack containing $1,600 in school books, $1,500 cash, about a half-pound of marijuana and work clothes, court records say.

The suspected robbers were pulled over a short time later. Melendez was arrested; Wright and the third suspect ran away. Officers searched the area and found Wright, but the other suspect got away, according to the affidavit. Carter identified the two assailants who were arrested.

Officers found multiple drugs on Melendez, including cocaine and OxyContin, according to the affidavit.

Wright had warrants for violating his conditions of release in cases for first-degree theft and third-degree assault, court records say. He faces new allegations of robbery, drug possession and violating the Uniform Controlled Substances Act. His bail was set at $125,000.

Melendez is facing allegations of robbery and drug possession. His bail was set at $200,000, court records show.

Both men have arraignment hearings scheduled for April 29.


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