GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — A pair of Ohio men accused of stealing from jewelry stores in several areas, including West Michigan, will be sentenced in federal court.
But one of the men was also recently sentenced for threatening a detective, according to court documents.
A federal indictment lays out the scheme used by 27-year-old Demetrius Eugene Woodson and 28-year-old Rosean Levell Rogers. Records show the duo started last May and were caught in September.
Police say the pair traveled state to state. One of them would distract employees while the others switched out real diamonds for cubic zirconia, police said.
In May, they got $7,000 from a store in Holland, Ohio. The duo then went to Jared locations in Fort Wayne, Lexington, Mishawaka and near Cleveland, where they netted more than $80,000 in diamonds, according to federal authorities.
The pair hit the Jared in Kentwood on Sept. 26, where they allegedly got $7,050 in diamonds after prying open a display case.
They tried the same scam in Grandville, but the alert staff refused them service. The same thing happened in Byron Center.
By then police were on their trail. After leaving the store at the Tanger Outlets, they were apprehended by Kent County Sheriff’s deputies.
In an agreement with the government, they pleaded guilty to crimes that carry a maximum of five years in prison and restitution.
But Woodson’s story didn’t end there.
Woodson admitted that he made threatening statements against a female Kentwood detective while talking to his girlfriend on the jail phone.
According to court records, he told his girlfriend that “it will be ‘all bad’ for her,” referring to the detective.
“Woodson continues to tell (his girlfriend) that he is going to find where (the detective) stays and that she better sleep with her pistol at night,” the affidavit reads.
Kentwood judge William Kelly saw the pair in his courtroom.
“Freedom of speech is not absolute. You can’t yell fire in a crowded theater, and you can’t threaten physical harm against someone, that is also against the law,” Kelly said. “It is taken very seriously because that is a threat against the state and the whole system of justice we have.”
Woodson was sentenced Thursday to three to 10 years in prison.
That could mean he is in state prison longer than his federal prison sentence, which he will receive Aug. 12 in the federal courtroom in Grand Rapids.