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Forgotten note led to arrest in store robbery, police say

By Geoff Liesik | Posted - Mar 21st, 2014 @ 6:28am

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PRICE — A federal grand jury has indicted a Salt Lake City man and a Price woman for the armed robbery of a Smith's Food and Drug store in November.

The indictment handed up Wednesday charges Dominic Mathew Martinez and Jennifer Meradee Tryon with one count of Hobbs Act robbery and one count of brandishing a firearm during a crime of violence.

Martinez, whose first name is also spelled "Domonic" or "Dominick" in state court filings, is also charged with being a felon in possession of a firearm.

On Nov. 26, Martinez walked into the Smith's store at 1075 E. Main, showed a clerk a handgun and handed over a note demanding money, according to charging documents filed in state court.

The clerk gave Martinez an undisclosed amount of money, the charges state. Martinez left the store but forgot to take the demand note with him, investigators said. Officers collected the forgotten scrap of paper and sent it to the state crime lab for testing.

"Lab personnel were able to identify three fingerprints matching (Martinez's prints)," charging documents state.

In an effort to track down Martinez, detectives began interviewing his friends and acquaintances in the Price area, including Tryon. She disclosed her "substantial involvement in the episode," Price Police Capt. Bill Barnes said following Tryon's arrest.

"She took Mr. Martinez to the (store), waited for him while he went inside, and then took him away from the location," Barnes said. "I'm not sure if she has benefited from (the alleged robbery). We have not recovered any money."

Sentencing possibilities
If they are convicted, Martinez and Tryon face 20 years in prison for the robbery charge.

Brandishing a firearm during a crime of violence carries a potential life sentence with a mandatory minimum sentence of seven years in prison.

Martinez also faces a 10-year prison sentence if he's convicted of being a felon in possession of a firearm.

Tryon was arrested after the interview, but Martinez wasn't taken into custody until Dec. 6, when authorities caught up to him near 3300 S. State, Salt Lake City.

Tryon, 43, is charged in 7th District Court with aggravated robbery and conspiracy to commit aggravated robbery, both first-degree felonies. Martinez, 28, is also charged in state court with aggravated robbery, a first-degree felony, and criminal conspiracy, a second-degree felony.

Martinez is being held in the Salt Lake County Jail, while Tryon remains in the Carbon County Jail.

Federal arrest warrants have been issued for the pair, according Melodie Rydalch, spokeswoman for the U.S. Attorney's Office for Utah. Carbon County Attorney Gene Strate said he expects the state charges against Martinez and Tryon will be dismissed once they are in federal custody.


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