Ameral, Weeks charged with several armed robbery counts
Nicholas Ameral and Benjamin Weeks, a pair of 19-year-olds arrested in the armed robbery of a Carbondale convenience store, were each charged with multiple counts of aggravated robbery and menacing.
The pair, who are cousins, are accused of holding up two employees at the Cowen Center Convenience Store with a handgun Feb. 16 and making off with an undisclosed amount of cash.
Ameral was charged with eight counts of aggravated robbery and two counts of menacing with a weapon, all of which are felonies. Weeks was charged with six felony counts of aggravated robbery and two felony counts of menacing with a weapon.
Ameral’s two additional counts were specifically for aggravated robbery with an “armed confederate.”
Each man was charged with separate aggravated robbery counts for each of the convenience store employees that were held up, and different types of aggravated robbery charges were applied to each, such as robbery by “menacing a victim” or using a “real or simulated weapon.”
Five days after the robbery, the two led police on a two-day manhunt after leaping from a Roaring Fork Transportation Authority bus and fleeing into the countryside near Basalt. They were both arrested Feb. 22 and found with exposure-related injuries from spending the night in frigid temperatures.
Last week investigators recovered a 9 mm Glock handgun believed to be used in the Feb. 16 stickup. While executing a separate search warrant, Carbondale police discovered the handgun, a high-capacity magazine and an extra magazine in a crawl space beneath Ameral’s mother’s rented home.
Ameral’s mother, Alicia Jackson, is also the driver police found transporting the two young men out of the Frying Pan Valley, where they were hiding from police.
The prosecution has said investigators are looking into support the 19-year-olds received while evading police. Jackson has not been arrested in this case, nor has an arrest warrant been issued for her.
Deputy District Attorney Zac Parsons said upon the arrest that further charges stemming from their evasion may also be forthcoming, given the stunning amount of resources called in for the manhunt. However, no charges related to the evasion were filed by the DA’s office Tuesday.
Magistrate Susan Ryan appointed the Glenwood Springs Office of the Public Defender to Ameral’s case, but alternate defense counsel was requested for Weeks, as the public defender’s office has a conflict.
The two, each being held on $100,000 bond, will be in district court before Judge James Boyd on March 28.
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