NEW ORLEANS – NOPD and the FBI Violent Crime Task Force arrested three men for conspiring to rob a bank on Wednesday.
Around 9 a.m., officers responded to a call of three men burglarizing an abandoned home in the 8300 block of Cohn Street. At the scene, officers saw the men, later identified as 23-year-old Arlander Celius, 23-year-old Samuel Taylor III and 23-year-old Jonathan Baham, wearing dark-colored clothes. They had duct tape and masks made of cloth in their possession at the time of the arrest, according to NOPD.
A 12-gauge shot gun and handgun were found inside the home, police say. The trio was arrested and taken to the Second District NOPD station for interviews. Detectives were able to link evidence found at the scene to an armed robbery of a bank that occurred in the 3500 block of General DeGaulle Drive on September 7.
Further investigation revealed that all three men were reportedly conspiring to rob another bank on South Carrollton Avenue, but officers arrived at the house burglary on Cohn Street minutes before the robbery was set to occur. Additionally, evidence gathered during the investigation helped detectives in developing Taylor as the one responsible for the robbery on General DeGaulle.
Celius was charged with simple burglary, possession of a firearm by a convicted felon and simple criminal damage to property in the Cohn Street incident.
Baham and Taylor were each charged with simple burglary and simple criminal damage to property in the Cohn Street incident. Taylor was also arrested on federal bank robbery charges for the General DeGaulle Drive incident.
All three men were taken into federal custody and face pending charges of conspiracy to commit bank robbery.