LEBANON — An undercover officer with the Warren County Drug Task Force was robbed in a city park as he was making a drug buy from a suspect.
John Burke, county drug force commander, released information about the May 21 incident on Wednesday, June 2, and after three of the four suspects were arrested and indicted by a Warren County grand jury.
Burke said the drug task force was involved in an ongoing drug trafficking investigation in Lebanon.
He said an officer made arrangements to purchase a quarter-ounce of powder cocaine for $300 from Nathan King, 24, of Oxford.
According to Burke, the officer was told to go to Harmon Park, 260 S. East St. and went to the rear of the park.
While the officer sat in his vehicle with the $300 to purchase the drugs, King robbed him by force.
Burke said the officer was not injured in the incident.
King reportedly fled the park on foot while his associates attempted to drive away in a vehicle, Burke said.
The car and King’s associates were stopped at the Speedway gas station in Lebanon.
Burke said King managed to escape, but was arrested on trafficking in drugs and robbery charges two days later in Oxford.
Also indicted by the grand jury on charges of robbery, a third-degree felony, and trafficking in drugs, a fourth-degree felony, were Aaron W. Mace, 20, Oxford; Candice Ellis, 19, of Middletown; and John Durham, 19, of Trenton. Only Durham remains at large.
King, Mace and Ellis are being held without bond in the Warren County Jail.
In addition, King is also charged in Lebanon Municipal Court with a separate robbery and has a bond of $50,000 on that charge.
Assistant Prosecutor Matt Nolan said that Mace, Ellis and King are expected to be arraigned on Friday, June 4 in Warren County Common Pleas Court.
Burke said information about the incident was not released because the investigation had not been completed and the drug task force wanted to get the case to the next grand jury session, which was Friday, May 28 and was before the holiday weekend.
We wanted the public to realize that this is dangerous work and sometimes it’s taken for granted, Burke said.
Thursday, June 3, 2010