Lehigh Valley

3 sentenced in failed break-ins; plan began in state prison

ALLENTOWN, Pa. - The investigations into a pair of failed break-in attempts in Allentown revealed a plot to steal drugs and money hatched within prison walls, but turned out to be little more than an attempt by one inmate to lower his sentence.

Three people have been sentenced in the failed break-ins. Robert Lee Bullock received 18 months to 5 years in prison, Stephen Person received two years probation, and Tyrice Harvey received 20 months to 5 years in prison.

In September 2016, Allentown police charged Pearson and  Bullock with burglary, conspiracy and criminal use of a communication device in connection with the July 21 and 28 break-in attempts. Authorities charged Efrain "Baby" Miranda III with criminal solicitation, conspiracy and criminal use of a communication device.

Investigators allege Miranda fed a fellow prison inmate false information about drugs and guns, while telling authorities at the same time about an unfolding plot.

On July 21, two men repeatedly rang the doorbell at an Allentown home, asking to use the phone because they were having car trouble. They left after the homeowner said he was calling police. Investigators allegedly found a fingerprint on the back door belonging to Antoine Johnson.

On July 28, two men, one of whom was carrying a revolver, tried breaking into the home through the back door. A motion light scared them away, but investigators pulled a fingerprint from some duct tape that was left behind and matched it to Roy Williams Jr.

Following his arrest on Aug. 2, Williams, of Philadelphia, allegedly admitted to being at the Allentown home. That admission eventually led police to Miranda, Pearson and Bullock, the details of which investigators laid out in a lengthy criminal complaint.

Williams told police that  Harvey, of Philadelphia, drove him to the home, and Harvey gave investigators permission to search his car.

Inside they found clothes and cell phones Harvey claimed were not his. A search of the phones showed the victim's Allentown address in text messages and in recent map searches, according to court records.

Investigators said they reviewed the communications of Troy Butler, an inmate at Huntington state prison in western Pennsylvania. Butler, who is currently in Lehigh County Jail, allegedly told his brother about a "move" at an address in Allentown for "chickens, a toolbox and elbows."

Police said Butler was using slang to describe cocaine, guns and marijuana.

Butler allegedly told his brother that any loot taken from the home would be split evenly with the representative of another inmate. The would-be burglars were told to have a "toaster in the holster" or a gun in case the old man who lives there was home, according to records.

Phone records indicate Butler allegedly spoke about the July 21 failed burglary attempt and said the job could still be done, provided it happened by July 28.

Investigators secured a warrant for Butler in August and interviewed him about the burglary attempts. He allegedly told authorities that Bullock provided the address, information and timeline for the Allentown burglary attempt.

Bullock allegedly contacted Pearson, of the 2300 block of East Boulevard in Bethlehem, about the plan. Police said Bullock admitted that he gave Pearson information that he'd find drugs and guns in the home.

He also admitted to investigators that he got the tip from Miranda, who was on his cell block in Huntington. Miranda was allegedly heard on a phone call placed by Bullock to Pearson about who Pearson should take with him on the job. Pearson insisted he only ever drove by the home.

When police interviewed Miranda in late August, they said the real reason behind the entire plot was revealed.

Miranda allegedly gave police information about a plot to kill the would-be burglary victim. In turn, he told Bullock and Pearson about drugs and guns at the home in the hope a crime would be committed.

Miranda reasoned that would make his information reliable and ultimately shorten his prison term on drug charges, according to court records. There were never any drugs in the home from the beginning, he told police.



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