PRINCETON — Three men were arrested following an armed robbery at a Princeton area residence that officials are describing as a drug dealer on drug dealer crime.

The incident occurred Sunday morning when four men wearing ski masks and armed with guns robbed a residence on B Ray Street in the Princeton area, Capt. Joe Parks, with the Mercer County Sheriff’s Office, said.

Two men were arrested following the robbery and two remain at large, Parks said.

“We caught two of them,” he said. “They were attempting to rob drugs out of the house.”

Jaquan Allen, of Statesville, N.C., and Jimmy Thornton, of Peterstown, are both charged with first-degree armed robbery, burglary and conspiracy, Cpl. M.S. Horn, lead investigator on the case, said.

A resident of the home, Victor Rodriguezvirella, was also arrested, Horn said. He faces charges of possession with intent to deliver methamphetamine and possession with intent to deliver heroin.

Horn said Rodriguezvirella was dealing drugs, and Allen and Thornton, as well as the two at-large suspects, were attempting to rob him.

In his criminal complaint, Horn stated that Rodriguezvirella hid in his bathroom during the robbery.

Mercer County Sheriff’s officials, including Lt. S.J. Cary, Deputy M.R. Lacy, and Deputy M.C. Altice, responded to the scene when they received a report of the home invasion and robbery.

After arriving on the scene, the deputies pursued two subjects running from the area.

According to the criminal complaint filed by Horn, Thornton was unable to scale a fence and subsequently surrendered to authorities.

Deputies Lacy and Altice then deployed K-9 Axle to track Allen, the court document states. Allen was later located hiding between a house and plastic storage container in the Quail Valley Subdivision.

Deputies found a vacuumed sealed bag continuing illegal narcotics and a handgun in the area of the wooden fence where the suspects were first observed, according to Horn’s criminal complaint. Additional drugs were found across the fence.

During the investigation, deputies located more than a pound of methamphetamine, 317 Xanax tablets, more than two ounces of heroin, three ounces of crack cocaine, one ounce of powder cocaine and 15 grams of marijuana, Parks said.

Horn said two handguns, a 9 mm Mac 11 and a .22 caliber Ruger, were also found.

Members of the Southern Regional Drug and Violent Crime Task Force assisted in the arrest and investigation.

Horn said cases of drug dealers robbing other drug dealers are becoming more prevalent in the area.

In Sunday’s B Ray Street incident, Horn said it is believed that one of the robbery suspects is a drug dealer while the other three suspects are his clients.

— Contact Samantha Perry at sperry@bdtonline.com

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