Armed Robber Faces 20 Years

SNOW HILL – A Pennsylvania man arrested in June after Ocean City police were able to identify him as one of three suspects in an armed robbery of a downtown hotel was found guilty this week on conspiracy to commit armed robbery charges and now faces as many as 20 years in jail.

Jose Antonio Vasquez, now 18, of Reading, Pa. appeared in Circuit Court on Monday to face nine counts ranging from first- and second-degree assault to armed robbery, theft and false imprisonment among others for his role in an incident at the Americana Hotel in Ocean City in June. Vasquez was found guilty of conspiracy to commit armed robbery, a charge that carries a maximum sentence of 20 years in Maryland, while the other charges against him were not prosecuted.

Around 5:45 a.m. on June 11, Ocean City police responded to the Americana Hotel for a reported armed robbery. When officers arrived on the scene, they were told three masked individuals brandishing handguns entered the hotel lobby around 5 a.m. The armed robbers then stole money and property from the hotel and the desk clerk before heading off in an unknown direction. At the time of the robbery, the suspects were wearing white masks with holes cut out for the eyes and mouths.

During the investigation, police detectives were able to obtain information that led them to a suspect from Reading, Pa., later identified as Vasquez. At around 11:30 p.m. that night, OCPD investigators, with the assistance of the Reading Police Department, located and arrested Vasquez in his hometown and took him into custody.

Vasquez was later extradited to Worcester County.

With Vasquez in custody, police detectives were still working on the identities of the other two suspects. Following leads and other evidence in the case, investigators were able to track the two other suspects wanted in the robbery, both of whom are also from Reading. On June 16, police detectives traveled to Reading and arrested the other two suspects wanted in connection with the armed robbery back on June 11.

Arrested in Pennsylvania were Jordan Raker, 18, and Aaron Taylor, 19, both of Reading. Raker and Taylor face the same charges as Vasquez including armed robbery, assault, false imprisonment, theft and the use of a handgun in the commission of a felony. Taylor was also schedule to appear this week on Tuesday, but his trial was postponed and reset for March 8. Meanwhile, a warrant has been sworn out for Raker, but he has not been taken into custody.