7 young men charged in robbery spree, SWAT standoff

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SAN DIEGO --- Robbery and false imprisonment charges were filed Wednesday against seven of nine robbery suspects who allegedly took part in a series of holdups throughout San Diego and La Mesa and were taken into custody Friday following a six-hour standoff at a City Heights apartment.

Prosecutors allege the defendants robbed pedestrians of their cell phones and jewelry between Aug. 23 and Sept. 19. They are charged in 13 robberies, though police believe the number is as high as 22.

Deputy District Attorney Andrew Aguilar said the men face anywhere from five years in prison to multiple life terms if convicted.

Two men -- Sebastian Baez, 20, and Ebon Johnson, 19 -- were arrested and charged earlier this year in connection with the spree.

The remaining seven defendants were arrested around 11 a.m. Friday when officers arrived at a complex in the 3600 block of University Avenue. Police had received information that the suspects in some recent robberies were staying at the complex.

Detectives set up surveillance and took five people into custody as they left the apartment. Several other suspects refused to come out and forced their way into a neighbor's unit, falsely imprisoning a woman and a 2-year-old.

Eventually, four people surrendered, but one suspect remained inside. With a SWAT team positioned around the building, the barricaded man finally emerged about 5:15 p.m. and was taken into custody.

Christopher Butler, 21, Thunderhawk Foster, 20, Byron Haynes, 19, Daiquiri Nelson, 24, Jaelin Davis, 19, Jeremiah Henry, 23, and Alexander Horton, 22, are due back in court Oct. 4 for a readiness conference.

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