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5 from Ohio indicted in $1.2 million Monroeville diamond, jewelry heist

Joe Napsha
| Saturday, Sept. 23, 2017, 4:24 p.m.

Five Ohio residents have been indicted in the theft of about $1.2 million worth of diamonds and jewelry in a strong-arm robbery of a New York jewelry merchant outside a Monroeville restaurant last year, according to the U.S. attorney in Cincinnati.

The five suspects from Middletown, Ohio, are accused of conspiring to rob the victim on April 2, 2016, outside the Udipi Cafe on Old William Penn Highway. At least four thieves were seen on a surveillance camera stealing the merchandise, according to news reports.

The thieves attacked the man and ran away with several pieces of luggage containing the diamonds and jewelry, according to images captured by the surveillance camera.

Those indicted are: Amit Patel, 48; Mimi Chang, 40; Andrea Mullins, 35; Deanna Williams, 36; and Danny Ray Horne, 37. Three of the defendants appeared in federal court Friday for initial appearances, and two defendants are in state custody.

The indictment, charging all the suspects with conspiracy, was returned by the grand jury on Sept. 6. The five are accused of violating the Hobbs Act, a federal law prohibiting interference with interstate commerce. That carries a sentence of up to 20 years in prison.

The FBI began the investigation after the victim filed a report with Monroeville police.

The government is seeking the forfeiture of more than $1 million, which represents the amount of proceeds obtained from the robbery, U.S. Attorney Benjamin Glassman said.

The FBI's Pittsburgh and Cincinnati offices were involved in the investigation, as were Monroeville police.

Joe Napsha is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach him at 724-836-5252, jnapsha@tribweb.com or via Twitter @jnapsha.

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