A Mt. Juliet business man who owns and operates American Jewelry in Brentwood has been arrested and charged in connection with a theft scheme that involved the kidnapping of a woman in Bowling Green, Ky.
According to reporting by the Bowling Green Daily News, 51-year-old Marshall Dwight Belew II, who also owns an American Jewelry location in Mt. Juliet, was arrested on March 2 following an investigation by the Bowling Green Police Department and the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
Belew was charged with complicity to first-degree robbery, complicity to kidnapping, complicity to second-degree assault and complicity to commit theft by unlawful taking of $10,000 or more.
The Daily News reports that the case has now been bound over to a grand jury, and includes charges against two other Tennesseans and two Kentuckians.
Those people were identified by court documents as Nicholas Enrique Cruz Palacios and Javier Nunez, both 41, and both of Old Hickory, on charges of kidnapping, first-degree robbery and second-degree assault, and Jeffery Weisman, 70, and Patricia Weisman, 64, both of Bowling Green, on charges of complicity to first-degree robbery, complicity to kidnapping, complicity to second-degree assault and complicity to theft by unlawful taking. The Daily News reports that all four were arrested in December 2020.
According to Brentwood Assistant Police Chief Richard Hickey, BPD oversaw the execution of a search warrant at the Brentwood American Jewelry location by Bowling Green Police detectives earlier this month.
Hickey said that BPD is not involved in the criminal investigation, and as of Friday, both American Jewelry locations remain open.
The Daily News reported on the origins of the investigation that centered around a July 13, 2020, incident that saw three people, two of whom were identified in court documents and Nunez and Palacios, force their way into a Bowling Green home while posing as delivery workers.
That home contained a safe filled with valuable jewelry owned by the late Western Kentucky University Provost Barbara Burch.
An unidentified woman who was working at the house was threatened with a gun and was bound with zip ties while the safe was stolen and loaded into a white cargo van that was captured on a surveillance camera.
That woman suffered minor injuries and was able to free herself.
One of those surveillance cameras captured one of the robbers speaking to another person on a telephone that had the speaker phone function activated, with police describing the caller on the other end of the line as directing the robbers through the home and to the location of the safe.
The Daily News reports that Bowling Green police enlisted the help of the FBI to collect cell phone data which led them to identifying Nunez as a suspect.
Phone records also led police to the Weismans, a husband and wife who worked as jewelers and had a longstanding relationship with Burch, which included knowledge of the safe, its location and its contents.
Police then identified Belew as a suspect after seeing frequent calls to his Tennessee businesses.
According to reporting by WSMV, Nashville's NBC affiliate, none of the 300-400 pieces of jewelry valued at around $1 million have been recovered yet, and police believe that the Weismans planned and hired robbers.
No further information about the case, including the extent of Belew's alleged role, has been released at this time.