AUGUSTA — Three men charged in connection with Tuesday’s reported burglary on Mount Vernon Avenue used duct tape to bind a local couple in their home, but then let them free so they could all use drugs together, police said.
The men were passing time as they waited for the return of the drug dealer they hoped to rob, according to an affidavit filed in Kennebec County Superior Court by Augusta Police Detective Christopher Blodgett. Julie and Gerald Marin said three men broke into their home Sunday night with the idea of robbing a local drug dealer named Sauce. The men threatened the couple with handguns, which turned out to be BB guns.
“Eventually, the males realized Sauce was not there and they began to smoke crack cocaine,” Blodgett wrote. “The males then asked Julie and Gerald if they wanted to smoke with them, which they advised they did. The males untaped Julie and Gerald and they all smoked crack cocaine together.”
The three men, Joshua Krajewski, 24, of Augusta; Zachary Monahan, 25, of Thompson, Conn.; and Robert DeJesus, 29, of Southbridge, Mass, all made their first court appearance Wednesday. All are charged with burglary, assault and criminal threatening with a dangerous weapon. DeJesus also was issued a warrant charging failure to pay fines.
All three were being held Wednesday at the Kennebec County jail. DeJesus was being held on $40,000 cash bail, Monahan $30,000 cash bail, Krajewski on $15,000 cash, $30,000 surety or $2,500 cash with a Maine Pre-Trial contract.
Police were called to the Marins’ home shortly before 11 a.m. Tuesday for a report of a robbery. A West Gardiner man, whom the Kennebec Journal is not identifying, told police he and another man stopped to visit friends at the Marins’ home. The male victim said he knocked on the door and went inside, where he was confronted by men holding guns and yelling that they were Maine Drug Enforcement Agents. The armed men taped his feet together and his hands behind his back.
The victim told police one of the men asked him, “â€˜Where is it?’” Blodgett wrote. “Another male stated, â€˜I’ve got it,’ and they ran out.”
The man broke free of the tape in time to chase the men to the nearby Bond Brook Mini Mall where the two men got into a black Jeep and drove off. The victim went to the mini mall, told employees there that he had been robbed, and asked them to call police. The victim returned to the home and spoke to a man and woman he said he did not know.
“The male and female advised they had been taped up all night,” Blodgett wrote. It is unclear from the affidavit if it was Julie and Gerald Marin or another unidentified couple.
Nobody was there when police arrived at the Marins’ home. Neighbors told investigators that the people who live at the home had left in a van before police arrived. Police found rolls of packing and duct tape and string throughout the home during a subsequent search.
“They also found discarded tape that appeared to have been used to restrain someone,” Blodgett wrote.
Police also found three black BB handguns: one just inside the main entrance of the Marins’ home, another sticking out of a black duffel bag left near propane tanks outside the nearby Bond Brook Mini Mall, and a third along Mount Vernon Avenue in an area where witnesses claimed to have seen an object thrown from the black Jeep Monahan and Krajewski reportedly used to flee the area.
Employees at the Bond Brook Mini Mall told police the Jeep was in the parking lot when they arrived for work that morning. Police later came across the Jeep and arrested Monahan and Krajewski during a traffic stop in Gardiner.
“In plain sight in the back of the Jeep was what appeared to be a used roll of white duct tape,” Blodgett wrote. The tape matched the pieces found in front of the Marins’ home and another taken from the victim’s leg.
Monahan told police that he and Krajewski had driven from Connecticut to visit Krajewski’s brother in Newport. On the way back home they stopped in Augusta to collect money from Sauce.
The men believed they would find $20,000 cash at the home.
“He said they entered the residence, threatened the occupants, trying to get them to tell them where the money was,” Blodgett wrote.
Craig Crosby — 621-5642 firstname.lastname@example.org Twitter: @CraigCrosby4