Witness tip and telephone records solve case
On August 9, 2018 at approximately 10:20 PM, officers from the Fellsmere Police Department investigated the report of an armed robbery that occurred in the 10040 block of Esperanza Circle.
The victim was identified as William Wharton, a Papa John’s employee. Wharton was delivering pizza in the area when he was approached “from the back” by an armed suspect who “racked a round in a shotgun” and told him to “give me all the money and the pizza”.
Wharton described the suspect as a black or Hispanic male, approximately 5’8” tall and in his mid-20’s to mid-30’s in age. He also said the suspect wore a “ski mask” to conceal his identity.
Wharton gave the suspect his wallet containing $60 and the two large pizzas he was carrying in a Papa Johns “hot case”. The suspect then ordered Wharton to lie on the ground and “count to 90”. The victim was unharmed and waited a “few seconds” until he did not see the suspect anymore. He then left the area and traveled to a nearby restaurant to report the crime.
During the preliminary investigation, officers determined that a false name was used to place the pizza order Wharton was delivering. The telephone call to place the order however, was done through a telephone App called “TextMe”. A subpoena issued for the subscriber information revealed that the app was downloaded to a telephone owned by “Noel” Montiel and that a call to Papa John’s was placed from his telephone.
During the course of this investigation, investigators received information from a juvenile witness regarding the identity of the robbery suspect. The witness (a minor) said that they had a conversation with “Noe” Montiel earlier during the day of the robbery.
During their conversation with Montiel, the witness learned that Montiel was planning a robbery because he “needed money”. He specifically told the witness that he was going to “wait for someone and rob them, but he didn’t know if he was going to beat them up or kill them”.
The witness also provided information regarding how Montiel made a “ski mask” out of a regular knit cap and where he hid the shotgun used during the commission of the crime.
Based on the information provided, officers were able to retrieve the shotgun and secure it as evidence.
Based on the testimony provided by the witness and the subpoena information received from “TextMe”, officers had probable cause to arrest Noe Montiel Jr., age 17, of 10023 Esperanza Circle, Apartment 1 for robbery with a firearm and wearing a mask while committing an offense.
A search for Montiel was conducted around 1:30 PM on Tuesday, August 14th, and he was found sitting on a staircase at a nearby apartment complex in Fellsmere. He was taken in to custody without incident and transported to the Fellsmere Police Department for an interview.
During that interview, Montiel admitted to owning the shotgun that was found by officers and admitted to having the weapon in his possession the day of the robbery as stated by the witness. Montiel denied making the ski mask and committing the robbery and said he did not have his phone in his possession when the delivery driver was robbed.
This is still an active investigation and no further information can be released at this time.