SABINE COUNTY, TX (KTRE) - Deputies with the Sabine County Sheriff's Office arrested two of four suspects in a violent armed robbery that occurred in Pineland on April 14.
According to the arrest affidavit, one of the people involved told authorities he and others created a fake Meet me account and pretended to be a 13-year-girl. The victim allegedly started messaging the fake account and agreed to have sex with the girl for $50.
Tristen Dale Welch, 19, of Pineland, and Delaney Nicole Emanis, 18, of Shelbyville, were both arrested on April 25 and charged with first-degree felony aggravated robbery, first-degree felony engaging in organized criminal activity, and second-degree felony aggravated assault with a deadly weapon.
Collectively, each person's bail amount was set at $175,000.
According to the arrest affidavit, a SCSO deputy spoke with the victim on April 14, who said he had been assaulted and robbed earlier that day. The man told the deputy that he was driving to Pineland on Bill Lowe Drive to see a friend, the affidavit stated. He said that he had just passed a cemetery located on the road when he saw the vehicle behind him flashing its lights.
The victim told the SCSO deputy that he pulled over and walked to the back of his pickup to see what they needed. He said that a black man got out of the vehicle behind his and walked toward him before walking back the way he came, the affidavit stated.
"[The victim] said the other two just came out of nowhere and hit him," the affidavit stated.
The victim told the SCSO that the only thing he could tell about the three men was that one of them was white, and two of them were black. However, he did say when one of the men spoke to him, he recognized his voice as that of Welch, someone he knew well, the affidavit stated.
According to the affidavit, the victim said he was pinned against the tailgate of his truck while the three men hit him. He also said one of the men pulled out a black pistol, put it to his head, and demanded that he give them "the 50 dollars," the affidavit stated.
After the victim gave the men $50, they left, the affidavit stated. He got back into his truck and left as well.
When the SCSO deputy asked the victim how much money he had on him at the time of the robbery, he replied that he had about $56 on him at that time. The victim said he was in fear of bodily harm when the gun came out, the affidavit stated.
The SCSO deputy took pictures of the victim's injuries as evidence.
Later, the SCSO deputy met Welch at his home in Pineland. After reading the Miranda warning, the deputy told Welch that he didn't have to talk to him, but he knew that he was involved in the incident, the affidavit stated.
Welch told the SCSO deputy that "they had made a fake Meet me account and had pretended to be a 13-year-old girl." Welch also said that after the victim started messaging the fake account, he set up a rendezvous in Pineland to have sex with the girl for $50, the affidavit stated.
When the SCSO deputy asked Welch if they had planned the entire thing just to rob the victim, he said yes.
"Tristen Welch even made the comment that the reason they had chosen to do it that way is because they did not think that he would call the police, due to the nature that he was there to have sex with a 13-year-old," the affidavit stated.
Further investigation turned up the names of the two other men that helped Welch beat and rob the victim, the affidavit stated. One of the men was armed with a BB pistol, the affidavit stated. As of Monday, they had not been arrested yet, according to jail records.
The SCSO deputy also learned that Emanis drove the vehicle that followed the victim's pickup and that she got out of the car and got the victim to get of his pickup.
Later, the SCSO deputy spoke to the victim again, and he told the victim that he had caught three of the men who robbed him, and they all told him the victim was there to have sex with a 13-year-old girl, the affidavit stated. At first the victim allegedly denied it and said that he didn't know "where that was coming from." He said he was there to pick up a friend and go to her house, the affidavit stated.
When the deputy spoke to Emanis, she backed up what he had heard from the other suspects in regard to what had happened. She told the SCO deputy that when the three men returned to car, they gave her $10 and told her to drive off, the affidavit stated.
The SCSO deputy spoke to the victim another time on April 16 and said he had enough information to "put holes all in his story." At that point, the victim said he had been messaging a person on the Meet Me app that told him she would meet with him to have sex for $150 and claimed that she told him she was 18, the affidavit stated.
After the person with the account sent him a picture, he told her that he didn't have $150 and that all he had was $50, the affidavit stated. The person with the account then told the victim that was fine and set up a rendezvous at the Career Center in Pineland.
According to the affidavit, the victim told the SCSO deputy that once the he got to the Career Center, he messaged the person to tell her he was there. He said about five minutes later, a white car pulled up. The driver rolled down the window and told him to follow them.
Later, the person told the victim to turn onto a cut-off road from Bill Lowe Drive. He told the SCSO deputy that he got out of his pickup and let the tailgate down as the driver of the car walked up, the affidavit stated.
The victim told the deputy, that at that point, three men with their faces covered with hooded jackets got out of the car and walked toward him. He said he tried to close his tailgate and get back into his truck, but two of them pinned him, the affidavit stated.
"[The victim] said that one of the guys said that they were there hunting pedophiles and punched him in the face," the affidavit stated.
The rest of the victim's account of what happened from that point on was very similar to his original story. He said he handed over the $50 after one of the men put the gun to his head, the affidavit stated.