Alleged drug dealers indicted for armed robbery

Calvert County Sheriff’s Office

A Calvert County grand jury handed down eight-count indictments last week for two men who are alleged to have robbed a teenage boy during a drug deal late last year.

Court records identify the two defendants as Grayson Lee Barrett, 20, of Huntingtown and James Preston Foster III, 19, of Chesapeake Beach. Foster was also indicted in July on drug distribution charges.

Both Barrett and Foster are charged with one count each of armed robbery, robbery, first-degree assault, second-degree assault, firearm use in a felony/violent crime, conspiracy to commit armed robbery, conspiracy to commit robbery and theft over $100 to under $1,500. According to court records, both men are currently incarcerated without bond.

The indictments stem from an incident that allegedly occurred on or about Dec. 19, 2018, at a location in North Beach.

The victim did not report the incident until several months later, according to investigators.

In court documents, Calvert County Sheriff’s Office Detective Chip Ward stated that he had learned of armed robberies that had occurred in the Chesapeake Beach and North Beach that had not been reported by victims.

“The investigation revealed that the robberies were committed during the course of drug sales and the victims were not reporting the incident for fear of getting in trouble,” Ward stated.

Upon learning about the alleged December incident and receiving a description of one of the gunmen that matched Foster, Ward requested a search and seizure warrant that was signed by a judge in early June.

The warrant was executed by the Calvert County Drug Enforcement Unit and the sheriff’s office’s special operations team descended during the early afternoon hours of June 18 at a residence in Chesapeake Beach.

Ward stated that Foster “was located upstairs in the kitchen of the residence.” A search of the home yielded a semiautomatic handgun and ammunition. Foster was then arrested on weapon and drug distribution charges.

According to court documents, investigators listened to phone conversations Foster had while in the detention center. One of his calls was to Barrett, who Ward state “expressed concern that the police were going to be looking for him because of the statement” the victim provided.

Foster also spoke with an individual not identified by name in Ward’s statement of charges. That exchange also yielded information that placed Barrett at the December crime scene.

The mother of the victims of the alleged robbery was interviewed and she told investigators the teens met the defendants near a wooded area in North Beach for the purpose of purchasing marijuana.

When Foster pointed a gun at the youths, a brief scuffle ensued. The victims were then robbed of a jacket, a phone and more than $100 in cash.

“Her statement has been corroborated with recorded jail calls between Foster and Barrett,” Ward stated in court documents.

Barrett and Foster have preliminary hearings on the charges scheduled for Aug. 30 in circuit court.

Jury trials are tentatively scheduled for January. Prosecution of the charges facing Barrett and Foster is being handled by Assistant State’s Attorney Benjamin G. Lerner.

Twitter: @CalRecMARTY