FBI impostors arrested for home invasion

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Four Birmingham men face multiple charges after an early Monday home invasion and robbery in Alabaster.

Charged are Kenneth Dewayne Rolley, 26; John Sebastian Williams, 24; Elijah Holmes, 30; and Kenneth Earl Harris Jr., 26.

The men, pretending to be federal agents serving a search warrant, forced their way into a home in the 700 block of Fifth Avenue Southeast around 12:30 a.m., said Deputy Police Chief Curtis Rigney.

Rigney said the four men were wearing FBI logos, carried semi-automatic guns and at least one had a bulletproof vest. They were also driving a former police car, which Alabaster police think may have been used by a department in Georgia.

Once inside the home, the men robbed two people and bound four more with duct tape before making off with a safe and $5,000 in cash, Rigney said.

&8220;We don&8217;t believe the suspects knew these people, but it doesn&8217;t appear to be random,&8221; said Rigney. &8220;This was planned.&8221;

Rigney said Alabaster police officers were responding to a call from the scene when they met the suspects fleeing on Fifth Street in their white Ford Crown Victoria. Police chased the men to U.S. 31 and then up Interstate 65 until the suspects crashed at the Lakeshore Drive exit.

Rigney said chase speeds reached more than 130 miles per hour.

Police did recover some of the stolen items and two of the guns used&8212;a 12-gage pump shotgun and a SKS assault rifle.

The suspects face several charges, including burglary, robbery, theft of property, impersonating a peace officer and unlawful imprisonment. Federal charges are still pending and the high power weapons have been turned over to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms.

&8220;It&8217;s amazing, with the weaponry and speeds we&8217;re talking about, that no one was hurt,&8221; said Rigney. &8220;They were ready for anything. We were lucky they didn&8217;t want a gun fight.&8221;

As of Tuesday morning, all four men were being held on bond in the Shelby County Jail.

In all, eight different agencies were involved in the pursuit, including the Shelby County Sheriff&8217;s Office, Alabama State Troopers and officers from the Pelham, Hoover, and Birmingham