BRANDON — Four men who staged a home invasion in an attempt to rob a friend of drugs were jailed Thursday afternoon and their intended victim was arrested on drug charges.
Hillsborough sheriff's deputies responded about noon to a report of a robbery at 1005 Hollyberry Court. When they arrived they heard sounds of a struggle coming from the garage. Then two people, Joshua Barrington, 19, and Joshua Hinkle, 18, ran outside.
The two told deputies they had just been robbed by two masked, armed men who ran out the back as deputies arrived, said sheriff's spokeswoman Debbie Carter.
Deputies alerted local law enforcement to be on the lookout for the two suspects.
One suspect, 20-year-old Willie Staten, was soon found hiding behind a shed at 1012 Sonya Lane with a 9 mm handgun, mask and items belonging to Barrington and Hinkle.
Deputies then found the second suspect, 18-year-old Trent Carrillo, walking along Bell Shoals Road and arrested him.
Deputies later discovered that the apparent home invasion was actually set up by Hinkle to steal drugs from Barrington, Carter said.
Hinkle arranged to meet Barrington at his house to hang out while secretly communicating with Carrillo and Staten through text messages. Carter said Hinkle unlocked Barrington's front door and text-messaged Carrillo and Staten that it was a good time to come in.
Carrillo and Staten entered through the front door wearing masks and armed with a black handgun. They took drugs from Barrington and also a few items from Hinkle to make appear he wasn't involved, Carter said.
They started to tie Barrington and Hinkle up "to make it look really real" when deputies arrived, Carter said.
Deputies learned that another man, 35-year-old Michael Reaves, was also involved. Reaves gave the suspects the gun used in the robbery and drove them to Barrington's home with a 2-year-old girl in the car, Carter said.
The child was turned over to her mother after Reaves was arrested.
All four suspects and their intended victim were arrested.
Barrington was charged with possession of marijuana and possession of drug paraphernalia.
Hinkle was charged with armed burglary, robbery and kidnapping.
Carillo was charged with being a felon in possession of a firearm, armed burglary, robbery, kidnapping and violating probation on previous grand theft and trespassing charges.
Staten was charged with armed burglary, robbery and kidnapping.
Reaves was charged with robbery, armed burglary, kidnapping and contributing to a delinquency of a child.
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