Three Charlotte men were arrested Thursday during a home invasion sting operation, according to papers filed in U.S. District Court.
Federal agents allege that two of the suspects had recruited prostitutes to lure victims into hotels near Sugar Creek Road and Interstate 85, where the suspects robbed the victims.
Charged in the sting were Jeronza Thorne, Glentavis McCorey and Jason Hill. Each faces one count of conspiracy to interfere with commerce by threats or violence, according to papers filed in federal court.
According to the federal papers, an informant alleged that Thorne told him of robberies he and McCorey had committed in the Charlotte area. According to agents, Thorne said he, McCorey and others managed prostitutes who advertised on the Internet. When potential clients answered the ads, prosecutors say, the prostitutes would lure them to a hotel room, where they would be robbed at gunpoint.
Federal agents say they set up a sting, in which an informant would tell Thorne of a potential lick, or robbery. The informant and an undercover agent allegedly met Oct. 1 and 4 with Thorne, telling the suspect they knew of stash houses in Charlotte where a drug trafficking operation was storing cocaine.
They met again Oct. 9, according to federal papers, and planned a home invasion at a stash house. A final meeting took place Thursday at a Charlotte convenience store, according to court paperwork. During that meeting, federal agents say, Thorne, McCorey and Hill had two handguns and discussed how they would pull off the home invasion.
Agents say the three suspects agreed to follow an informant and two undercover officers to a less conspicuous place, to make final plans for the home invasion. When the group arrived at a public storage facility, according to federal papers, they were met by agents from Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms and arrested without incident.
The Observers Maria David contributed.
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