SHELDON, N.Y. (WIVB) - Deputies have arrested five people in Wyoming County they say were preying on migrant workers doing labor on area farms.
The Wyoming County Sheriff's Office began investigating in late July when a migrant worker was robbed in the Town of Castile. The victim was strangled unconscious and robbed by five people, who stole his wallet and personal belongings. The victim was able to give deputies a description of the people who robbed him.
A few days later, in the Town of Pike, another migrant worker was beaten and robbed. The victim suffered head and facial injuries, and the suspects made off with a large amount of cash as well as personal belongings the migrant worker had on him as well as items from his home.
The break in the case came on July 29th, when deputies stopped a vehicle in the Town of Covington for vehicle and traffic infractions. Inside were the five suspects who matched the description given by one of the victims. All five were later released after being interviewed by investigators, but several items were seized, including a shoe that led deputies to two more victims who were attacked in the Town of Sheldon.
That robbery and assault had happened just hours before the traffic stop. The victims had been lured into the vehicle, where after they were then taken to a corn field and were attacked and robbed.
Five suspects have been arrested so far, and there are warrants out for the arrest of four others. The suspects arrested are:
- Melissa Cotton, 19, of Farmersville
- Gunner Northrup, 19, of Arcade
- Brittany Wiedemann, 19, of Sardinia
- Timothy Kuhn, 20, of Franklinville
- Allen Seckler, 24, of Franklinville
Each is charged with second degree robbery, and Seckler is charged with three counts. All are being held in the Wyoming County Jail on bail ranging from $50,000 to $200,000.
The investigation continues, and authorities say more arrests and charges are pending. Investigators Lawrence May and Aaron Anderson, Lieutenant Edward Till, Forensic Technician Steven Miller, and Deputy Ivan Carrasquillo are all credited with being instrumental in the investigation. They were aided by road patrol and members of the Wyoming County Drug Task Force.
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