Topeka man pleads guilty to federal robbery, carjacking charges

U.S. Attorney for the District of Kansas Barry Grissom (AP Photo/The Kansas City Star, John Sleezer)

TOPEKA, Kan. – A Topeka man pleaded guilty Wednesday to federal charges of carjacking and robbery.

In a news release, U.S. Attorney for Kansas Barry Grissom said 26-year-old Wesley Lavern Harris, Jr. pleaded guilty to one count of carjacking and one count of commercial robbery.

Grissom said in his plea, Harris admitted that in June 2015 he took a man’s keys, money and car and left the victim in a bathtub at an Econo Lodge Motel in Topeka.

Harris and others had placed an ad on a Web site advertising sexual services in order to lure a victim to a hotel room and rob him. Harris left the motel driving the victim’s 2002 Hyundai Sonata.

In his plea, Harris admitted that on June 8, 2015, he entered the back door of the Heartland Perma Column store on 1450 Road in Lawrence, Kan. where he threatened to kill an employee and forced her and another employee to give him money from a box in the front office.

Grissom said under an agreement reached with Harris he will recommend a sentence of 86 months in federal prison. Sentencing will be set at a later date determined by the court.

Twenty-three-year-old co-defendant Crystal Marie Jaimez of Topeka is set for jury trial Oct. 26. Another co-defendant Christal Renee Aponte, 30, also of Topeka, has scheduled a change of plea hearing for Sept. 23.

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