been charged as adults, but Springfield Detective Stephen Craig said June 15 that the adult charges were being withdrawn against both Ambler youths and refiled as juvenile charges.
The two, both being held on $200,000 bail, were to be transferred Thursday afternoon from Montgomery County Prison to the Montgomery County Youth Center, he said. Detention hearings were scheduled for June 16.
Felony charges of kidnapping, conspiracy, dealing in unlawful proceeds, possession with intent to deliver a controlled substance, criminal use of a communication facility and misdemeanor charges of unlawful restraint, false imprisonment, coercion, simple assault and possession of drug paraphernalia, which had been waived by the youth June 8, have been reduced to juvenile charges. A robbery charge was previously withdrawn.
According to the affidavit and an account by police, a 17-year-old Oreland male, who was selling small amounts of marijuana, and a 16-year-old male friend of his from Erdenheim went to Fort Washington, where the Oreland youth purchased a quantity of marijuana from one of the Ambler youths.
The following week, around 5 p.m. May 23, the two Ambler youths and approximately four to six adult males went to the Erdenheim youth’s home, where they demanded to know where the Oreland youth was, the complaint says. He said he didn’t know, and they ordered him into the car.
The youth said he didn’t want to get in the car and the two Ambler youths “told him that he didn’t have a choice,” the complaint says. “Fearing for his life,” the boy got in the car and provided directions to the Oreland youth’s home, and was told if the Oreland boy “doesn’t pay the money we’re coming for you too.”
When the two vehicles containing six to eight people arrived at the Oreland residence, the Erdenheim youth was told to go inside and get the Oreland youth to come outside, the affidavit says. The Ambler youth who had sold him the marijuana demanded the Oreland youth get his marijuana and money, and the youth handed over about 9 grams of marijuana and $5, at which point the Ambler youth punched him in the face, it says.
The Oreland teen then cashed his paycheck from work and met the two Ambler youths at the Wawa in Fort Washington and paid them $140 more, the complaint says.
Armed with a search warrant, police went to the home of one of the Ambler youths in the unit block of Church Street, where they found seven people smoking marijuana and a backpack belonging to the youth containing 85 grams of marijuana and $200 cash, the complaint says. Six potted marijuana plants were also seized along with another 7 grams of marijuana in another bedroom.
Text messages and a video on the youth’s phone linked to the incident were recovered, as well.
A preliminary hearing for the second Ambler youth, who was arrested on similar charges, was canceled June 15 when the charges were removed to juvenile court.