2nd armed robbery suspect caught

OKEECHOBEE — A second suspect in last month’s armed robbery of a U.S. 441 S.E. convenience store has been arrested.

Detective Cari Arnold, of the Okeechobee County Sheriff’s Office (OCSO), said Jesse Rocky Zamora was arrested Saturday, Oct. 8, on her warrant.

Zamora, 31, S.E. 68th Way, is charged with the felonies of robbery with a firearm, three counts of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and one count of aggravated battery with a firearm.

Jesse Zamora

Jesse Zamora, 31

He is being held in the Okeechobee County Jail. He is being held without bond on the armed robbery charge, and his bond on the remaining charges has been set at $225,000.

His alleged partner in the reported holdup, Sherman Lee Bryant, was arrested the day after the alleged robbery following an exhaustive search by a number of law enforcement agencies. Bryant, 35, was arrested by deputies from the Martin County Sheriff’s Office (MCSO) after he was found hiding in some woods by OCSO Deputy Matt Crawford.

Bryant apparently abandoned the Ford Explorer sports utility vehicle he was driving at the J&S Fish Camp, 9500 Conner’s Highway, in Martin County. Because he was in Martin County, Bryant was taken into custody by MCSO deputies and is currently being held in the Martin County Jail on a felony charge of escape and misdemeanor charges of loitering and prowling and resisting a law enforcement officer without violence.
MCSO jail records show he is being held on a total bond of $520,000.

It’s not yet known when Bryant will be returned to Okeechobee County.

According to Detective Arnold’s probable cause affidavit, Zamora entered the Treasure Island Shell Convenience Store, 3609 U.S. 441 S.E., shortly after 10 p.m. on Sept. 18 and robbed the store of an unspecified amount of cash.

Because he was apparently fumbling in his attempt to get the cash out of the register drawer, Detective Arnold pointed out that Zamora finally removed the cash drawer and ran out of the store with it in his left hand and his gun in his right hand.

Detective Arnold noted in her affidavit that Zamora was armed with a dark brown firearm and threatened at least four people with it. The gun has not been recovered, said the detective.

Sherman Lee Bryant, 35

Sherman Lee Bryant, 35

As the Ford SUV sped away from the store, an alleged gun shot was reportedly fired from the passenger’s side of the vehicle where Zamora was seated, added the investigator.

“Zamora fled the store on foot and jumped into a tan in color Ford Explorer driven by Sherman Bryant,” stated the detective’s report. “The suspect vehicle was located at the dead-end road at J&S Fish Camp by Martin County and Okeechobee County deputies. Bryant and Zamora were not inside the vehicle and were assumed to be on the run in the wooded area around J&S Fish Camp.”

Detective Arnold’s affidavit indicates she submitted the information to assistant state attorney Jeffrey P. Davis and he approved the arrest warrant on Sept. 29. Zamora was then located Oct. 8 and arrested by OCSO Deputy Jose Garduno.

While just how much cash was taken from the store has not been released, Detective Arnold did say that $105 in cash has been recovered.

Court records show Zamora is currently awaiting trial stemming from this Nov. 17, 2015, arrest on a felony charge of possession of a controlled substance (cocaine). That case is being prosecuted by assistant state attorney Terry H. Tribble. Zamora is being represented by Port St. Lucie defense attorney Adrienne Bucchi.

Zamora was free on $2,500 bond, but that bond was revoked Oct. 4 based on the notice of probable cause determination for the new arrest.

In 2002 Bryant was found guilty of sale of cocaine and possession of cocaine with intent to sell, along with charges of resisting a law enforcement officer with violence and escape. He was sentenced in 2005 to five years in prison, and was released from the Department of Corrections (DOC) July 1, 2009.

Besides the OCSO and MCSO, other agencies taking part in the search for the two men included the Okeechobee City Police Department, Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission officers and K-9 officers from the Okeechobee Correctional Institution.

See also Armed Robbery Suspect Nabbed

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