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Third Suspect Arrested in Failed Armed Robbery of Drug Stash House

By Carla Zanoni | June 7, 2012 9:20pm

INWOOD — A third defendant was arrested Thursday in connection to an attempted robbery of an alleged drug stash house in Inwood by a Rikers Island barber and a New York State corrections officer. 

Fabian Faulkner, 28, a Rikers Island inmate who is awaiting trial on unrelated murder and weapons charges in The Bronx, was arrested Thursday and charged with two counts of conspiracy for his involvement in the May 23 incident, according to a joint statement by the New York City’s Special Narcotics Prosecutor's office, U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, NYPD and New York State Police. 

According to officials, Faulkner allegedly told a former Rikers inmate about his involvement in a “robbery crew that targeted drug dealers” calling the “professional” robbers “caterers,” according to a recording of a telephone conversation obtained by the USDEA. 

The former inmate then told Faulkner that he knew about a drug stash house in Inwood that hid 15 kilograms of cocaine and $200,000 in cash that would be a “good target for the robbery crew.” According to officials, the stash never existed in the apartment. 

Faulkner then allegedly put the former inmate in touch with Melbourne Rowe, a 36-year-old barber at Rikers Island who Faulkner identified as a distant relative. 

Rowe then met with Kirk Francis, a 33-year-old corrections officer at Bedford Hills Correctional Facility who had previously worked for the NYC Department of Corrections for two years. Rowe, Francis, the former inmate, and another unnamed individual all plotted out the alleged attempted robbery.

On May 23, Rowe and Francis were arrested on the street in a black Chevy Impala after driving to a co-op apartment complex on Park Terrace West, between West 215th and 217th streets, at approximately 10:30 p.m., according to court documents. 

Agents allegedly found a loaded .40 caliber gun and a pair of handcuffs on Francis and they recovered plastic gloves and flex handcuffs in the car.  A 9mm Sig Sauer gun was recovered in the console next to Rowe’s seat. 

Both men were charged with attempted criminal possession of a controlled substance and counts of second and fourth degree conspiracy.  They were released on $200,000 bail and are due back in court for their arraignment on June 14.