Remaining three suspects wanted in connection with robbery of trucker in Whitfield County arrested
According to the Whitfield County Sheriff's Office, the remaining three men suspected of robbing a Navarro, Texas man of $30,000 at the Pilot Travel Center at 243 Connector 3, on July 28th have been arrested. According to information from the Whitfield County Sheriff's Office, John Branham, 63, of Cincinnati; Robert Chandler, 41, of Cincinnati; and Adam Rick Smith, 36, of Russell Springs, Kentucky, were arrested for the robbery. They said surveillance footage, cellular data, mobile positioning data, and records from businesses in Georgia and Tennessee were used to help identify them. Branham was arrested on August 6th by the Missouri State Police in Mount Vernon, Missouri. Chandler was arrested on August 7th by the Cincinnati Police Department Fugitive Task Force. Smith was arrested in Cincinnati on August 8th. The Whitfield County Sheriff's Office said Branham is being charged with robbery; Chandler with robbery, false imprisonment and simple battery; and Smith with robbery, false imprisonment and simple battery. According to reports after the robbery in Dalton, Branham robbed a trucker at a truck stop in Oklahoma. This isn't Robert's first time back in 2019 he, along with three other men, robbed a trucker at an I-80 rest area in Iowa. Robert Chandler was said to be with him during the robbery, which was similar to the one in Dalton. Authorities believe they know which truckers are likely to be carrying large amounts of cash and target them. Walter Wathen, 52, of Cincinnati, was arrested shortly after the robbery on July 28th after being stopped by a Motor Carrier Compliance Division of the Georgia Department of Public Safety Officer on I-75 Northbound around mile marker 349 in Catoosa County. According to the incident report, Dalton Thornton fired five rounds from a Smith & Wesson .38 Special handgun during the robbery. "Mr. Thornton stated that he was aiming at the tires of the vehicle in order to disable it," the report said. After the robbery, all the suspects met up at the Red Roof Inn on West Walnut Avenue in Dalton. Wathen is scheduled for a bond hearing in Whitfield County Superior Court on August 25th Branham, Chandler and Smith will all be extradited to Whitfield County to face charges. The Georgia Bureau of Investigation, the Motor Carrier Compliance Division of the Georgia Department of Public Safety, the Oklahoma Highway Patrol, the Missouri State Police, the Kansas State Police, the Cincinnati Police Department Fugitive Task Force and the Russell County Sheriff’s Office in Kentucky all assisted in the investigation.