DELAWARE: Trooper faces termination over robbery case
Trooper 1st Class HyunJin Kim, 27, was originally interviewed as a victim in the Feb. 22 robbery but is now being accused of being an accomplice.
Courtesy Delaware State Police
DOVER – State police say the status of a trooper charged in a robbery has been changed from suspended with pay to suspended with the intention to terminate.
Police spokesman Sgt. Joshua Bushweller says the change came after a preliminary hearing was scheduled for 27-year-old Trooper 1st Class HyunJim Kim. The change is status means Kim is no longer being paid.
Kim was arrested March 3 in connection with the Feb. 22 robbery at Wild Quail Country Club near Wyoming. Police say Kim was one of the poker players when three armed men burst in and took about $10,000, car keys and cell phones from the players. According to police, a store video showed Kim purchasing pillowcases used by the robbers to shroud the players.
Kim is charged with 11 counts of first-degree robbery and other charges.
Posted on Fri, Mar. 21, 2008
Police arrest three more suspects in poker game robbery
The Associated Press
DOVER, Del. – Three brothers accused of helping a former state trooper in robbing participants in a high-stakes poker game have been arrested, police said.
State troopers and Philadelphia city police arrested the men Friday morning at a residence in Philadelphia.
The suspects were identified as Addae C. Powell, 26, Jeffrey N. Powell, 30, and Akua N. Powell, 22. Upon their return to Delaware, the men will face charges including robbery, conspiracy, and possession of a firearm during the commission of a felony, authorities said.
Similar charges have been lodged against former trooper HyunJim Kim, who was arrested March 3 in connection with the Feb. 22 robbery at Wild Quail Country Club near Wyoming.
According to investigators, three masked men armed with handguns and a shotgun burst into the clubhouse and confronted a dozen people, including Kim, who were playing poker. The card players were ordered to lie on the ground, where they were bound and had their faces covered. Investigators said two of the victims were assaulted and received minor injuries.
The suspects stole about $10,000, as well as cell phones, credit cards and keys from the victims before fleeing in a car.
Authorities said Kim left the scene before investigators arrived, but they subsequently learned from another player that Kim had been involved in the game.
Investigators later identified Kim as one of two men caught on a store security tape on the day of the poker game buying pillowcases similar to those used to cover the victims’ faces. A search of his car and home resulted in the seizure of additional evidence indicating his involvement in the robbery, according to authorities.
State police said Jeffrey Powell and Kim were close friends who attended Temple University together and served in the military with one another.
Authorities are still searching for a fifth subject.
Jeffrey N. Powell , Addae Powell, Akua Powell
March 22, 2008
Ex-Army buddies charged in robbery
Former trooper, 3 others accused of $10,000 theft
By TERRI SANGINITI
The News Journal
They dodged bullets together during a year with the U.S. Army in Iraq.
Now college buddies HyunJin Kim and Jeffrey N. Powell stand accused in a Feb. 22 robbery at the Wild Quail Country Club in Wyoming.
Kim, a former Delaware state trooper, was arrested March 3 for posing as one of 12 poker players who were robbed at gunpoint of $10,000 in cash and personal property.
On Friday morning, Powell, 30, and two others were charged with carrying out the military-style robbery after they were picked up in a police raid of a West Philadelphia home.
News of the arrests came as a shock to Chad Wilson, a New Jersey police officer who served in Iraq with Kim and Powell.
It was especially surprising, Wilson said, because Powell called him last month to talk about Kim’s arrest.
“He sounded like he was as shocked as I was,” Wilson said. “He was concerned about him, just as I am concerned for the two of them now. I really don’t know what to say.
“These are guys who served honorably overseas and did not display any kind of criminal behavior,” Wilson said.
The two friends attended Temple University together before being deployed to Iraq in 2003. Prior to that, they showed an interest in becoming lawmen, Wilson said.
“I became a police officer in 2001 and they were excited about law enforcement and wanted to follow a similar path,” he said.
In an Oct. 6 blog titled “Brothers” and written by fellow soldier Eddie Chang, aka Etimus, Kim is described as “our Howling Mad Murdock, he who felt the brunt of the anti-Asian clout in our unit.”
Chang, who now lives in California, said Kim was “wild and crazy and contemplative all at once.”
Chang’s 2005 blog acknowledged that he had not met with Powell or Kim in Pennsylvania for 2 1/2 years but missed them.
That same sentiment was expressed in a blog dated Feb. 04, 2006.
“Talked to some war buddies, Chad Wilson in particular, and had a raucous good time remembering the time the mortars were falling and I couldn’t evacuate into the bunkers because of an injury I had,” Chang wrote.
“Chad scooped me up in his brawny arms and ran to the bunkers, my knight in shining armor, only to trip at the entrance, the both of us tumbling in the sand.”
He also described Powell as “our Hannibal, born and raised in Philadelphia, one of the smartest chaps I know and one of the most generous.”
“These guys, they were my family for one concentrated, hellish year,” Chang wrote in 2005. “We were shot at and mortared together. They were there when I lost my girl.”
The two others arrested Friday are Powell’s brothers Addae, 26, and Akua, 22, all of the 5800 block of Arch St. A fifth unidentified accomplice is still being sought.
All three brothers are being held in Philadelphia pending extradition to Delaware to face 11 felony counts including first-degree robbery, according to Cpl. Jeff Whitmarsh of Delaware State Police.
The trail to the Philadelphia brothers began after Kim was jailed on $246,000 bail and detectives started investigating his associates.
Police got an arrest warrant Thursday night and arrested them Friday following a daybreak raid at their Arch Street home, Whitmarsh said.
Also Friday, Kim was fired from the state police force after 2 1/2 years, Whitmarsh said. He had been on suspension since his arrest.
Kim was arrested after police were able to track red pillowcases used in the robbery to a Wal-Mart in Camden, Del.
Kim was identified from the store’s surveillance video leaving the store following the purchase. Some of the robbery victims also identified Kim from the video and acknowledged he had been playing poker with them the night they were robbed, Whitmarsh said.
Other evidence, including charred keys and cell phone parts belonging to some of the victims, were found in the rear yard of Kim’s Artis Drive home, where someone apparently tried to burn them.
Kim is a reservist with the 512th Airlift Wing. He is still a member of the unit because he was not on active duty when the robbery took place, said spokeswoman Sgt. Veronica Aceveda.
“Military authorities do not take actions until the charges have been adjudicated in court,” she said.