Gwinnett County Deputies uncover a plot by inmates to pay victims of armed robberies not to show up in court.
LAWRENCEVILLE, Ga -- Gwinnett County Sheriff Deputies uncovered an elaborate plot by three inmates to prevent the victims of their crimes from testifying against them at trial.
Two of the inmates were co-defendants in the same armed robbery and the third, the mastermind behind the plot, was charged in a separate armed robbery.
Gwinnett County Sheriff Deputies said the common factor between all three inmates was they robbed the same victim.
They got caught because two of the inmates, Alfredo Sosa, 18, Miguel Camacho-Gonzalez, 22, peaked the suspicions of a sheriff deputy when they both showed up at the jail's medical unit at the same time faking heart conditions.
"We certainly assumed that they feigned these symptoms so that they could be in the medical unit in hopes they would have the opportunity to meet and discuss this plan," said Sheriff Deputy Shannon Volkodav.
Deputies searched both inmates cells, and in Sosa's, found a hand written note entitled "Plan to Free Us". The note was written by a third inmate, Jerome Welch, 22, the alleged master mind behind the plan.
Welch's plan, mapped out in the note, was to have his alleged co-conspirators, Gonzalez and Sosa, come up with money to give to Gonzalez' mother. Maribel Gonzalez, 42, would then send the money to Gonzalez' girlfriend, Jillian Dumke, 23, who would pay off the victim in the robberies.
In the note, Welch wanted it done fast because his trial was coming up soon. He wrote: "You have to come up with the money ASAP before I go to court cause no victims, no case."
Investigators say Dumke wired $1,000 to the victim of the robberies, Matthew Barrett. She allegedly told him to disappear before Welch was to show up in court.
All three inmates are charged with Conspiracy to Commit a Felony. Gonzalez's mother and girlfriend are also charged with Conspiracy. Matthew Barrett is charged with Acceptance of Benefit, Reward or Consideration by Witness for Changing Testimony or Being Absent.
"He's charged because he was accepting payment in exchange for not appearing in court and testifying in court," Deputy Volkodav said.
Investigators say inmate Sosa was the weak link in the plot. In the letter found in his cell, Welch warned him to "throw the letter away after you get done reading it." "He was supposed to have destroyed this plan which he clearly didn't do," Volkodav said. "Had it not been for the discovery of this letter we may not have known about this plan."