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Three people charged with robbing men at gunpoint

Male victims were hit in face with a firearm

Joshua Kellogg
Farmington Daily Times
Tara Johnson
  • Tara Johnson, Derrick Bia and Miranda Ben are accused of two, second-degree felony counts of armed robbery.
  • They are accused of taking part in an armed robbery of two men at the Journey Inn in Farmington.
  • Their preliminary hearings are set for the morning of April 17 in Farmington Magistrate Court.

FARMINGTON — Three people have been arrested in connection with the armed robbery of two men at a Farmington motel.

Tara Johnson, Derrick Bia and Miranda Ben are accused of two second-degree felony counts of armed robbery, according to court records.

They are accused of taking part in the robbery at the Journey Inn at 317 Airport Drive in Farmington, according to court documents.

The suspects did not have legal representation today.

Farmington Police Department officers were dispatched to the motel around 11:53 p.m. on Thursday.

Two men told police that Bia, Bea and Johnson, along with an unidentified male, robbed them at gunpoint inside a motel room.

Farmington police are still investigating the case and working to identify the second male suspect, according to department spokesperson Georgette Allen.

Derrick Bia

Court records state that the alleged victims were walking outside the motel when Johnson told them to enter a motel room with the suspects. A man later arrived at the motel room and pulled out a pistol. The man hit both of the victims in the face with the gun. Ben, Bia and Johnson were in the motel room when the alleged incident occurred.

According to the narrative, Johnson and Bia emptied out the victims' pockets while Ben kept watch at the window. Smartphones were taken from both men, and one man had unidentified pills taken from him. The man with the firearm left the scene in a four-door pickup truck.

Bia and Ben were in the motel room when officers arrived on scene. Officers conducted a search of the room and located the stolen property.

Miranda Ben

Ben and Bia were interviewed by police, then arrested. Johnson was later arrested after being identified as the second female suspect.

All three suspects had their first appearance Monday morning in Farmington Magistrate Court.

Ben and Bia are incarcerated at the San Juan County Adult Detention Center with each man having a $5,000 cash at 10 percent bond.

Johnson has been released from the county jail per court order.

Their preliminary hearings are set for the morning of April 17 in Farmington Magistrate Court.

Joshua Kellogg covers crime, courts and social issues for The Daily Times. He can be reached at 505-564-4627 or via email at jkellogg@daily-times.com.