Crime

2 charged in Lexington robberies

A financial crimes investigation that spanned several months led Lexington police and U.S. marshals to two people suspected of committing two recent robberies.

Lexington police spokeswoman Sherelle Roberts said investigators have been building a case against Justin R. Morris for allegedly passing bad checks at Lexington Clinic, using a stolen credit card and trying to exchange counterfeit $5 bills for larger currency. The $5 bills, which all had the same serial number and allegedly had Morris' fingerprints on them, were turned over to the Secret Service.

Jessica Lee Bryant, who was charged in the robberies, was said to be Morris' getaway driver.

"We have been getting warrants for him over the course of our investigation," Roberts said.

The warrants were served at Arby's restaurant on Elkhorn Road near Dixie Elementary School on Monday night.

Police watched Morris pull into the parking lot where officers suspected a drug transaction was going to occur, according to court records. Investigators say they found prescription pills inside a Red Bull energy drink can in Morris' jacket, along with $443 in cash.

Morris and Bryant, both 27, were charged in a robbery Feb. 28 at Microtel Inn and Suites in Hamburg and March 1 at C&C Pharmacy on Mapleleaf Drive, according to a news release by Lexington police.

Morris is charged with two counts of first-degree robbery, trafficking in a controlled substance within 1,000 yards of a school, possession of a controlled substance, fraudulent use of a credit card and possession of a forged instrument. Bryant is charged with two counts of first-degree robbery.

Witnesses to the robberies identified Morris in a lineup, according to arrest records. Police said Morris' fingerprints also were found on a newspaper that the robber had been holding in store surveillance video. The paper was left at the scene, police say.

During police interviews, Morris said Bryant was his getaway driver. According to court documents, she admitted that.

Morris is being held at the Fayette County jail on a $50,100 bond, and Bryant is being held on a $20,000 bond. Both have pleaded not guilty and will return to court March 24.

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