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Deputies: 4 arrested after botched drug deal in Palatka

3 teens, 1 man charged after kidnapping, robbery

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PALATKA, Fla. – Three teenagers and a man were arrested Wednesday after a planned drug deal turned into a robbery and kidnapping, according to the Putnam County Sheriff's Office.

Deputies arrested Torrance Vernard Boyd, 21, Tavaris Joquez Brinson, 18, Spencer Christopher, 16, and Jamari Cishaun Jones, 18, on charges of kidnapping and robbery.

According to the Sheriff's Office, a man was forced into a BMW at gunpoint and taken to a Vystar ATM. After his debit card got stuck in the machine, the victim ran off and called deputies.

The victim told the Sheriff's Office other men were holding his friend in the parking lot of Mellon Manor Apartments.

Deputies rushed to the apartment complex and found the man's friend alone and bleeding after he'd been pistol whipped, the incident report said. He told investigators he'd met the the four suspects earlier at a gas station and asked to buy marijuana. 

The two victims arrived to purchase marijuana at Mellon Manor Apartments and during the deal, the suspects surrounded their vehicle, robbed both men and took one to the ATM, the Sheriff's Office said.

The Sheriff's Office said deputies were able to find the BMW the suspects were driving and arrested the four men during a traffic stop. A stolen handgun was found inside the car.

Boyd, Brinson, Christopher and Jones were all held on no bond. Christopher was taken to a juvenile detention facility in Gainesville.

Investigators did not name the two men who were robbed or say if they were facing charges. However, the Sheriff's Office did say additional charges were pending.


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