GREAT FALLS: Zachary Taylor Cortez and Luke John Mizenko have been charged in connection with Monday’s armed robbery of a convenience store in Great Falls.
The robbery happened at about 3:30 p.m. at the Sinclair store at 620 57th Street South. Nobody was injured.
Court documents state that a man – later identified as Mizenko – pointed a gun at the cashier, demanded money, and then got into a green Jeep Liberty that was driven by Cortez.
The two drove away, and a witness provided responding police officers with a description of the Jeep and the license plate number.
Officers looked up the license plate and saw that the Jeep was registered to Cortez. Police went to Cortez’s house in a neighborhood along Central Avenue and 33rd Street.
Court documents state that Mizenko came to the front door with a gun pointed at his chest, and he claimed to be innocent. He then held police at bay for 18 minutes before surrendering.
After obtaining a search warrant, Cortez was also taken into custody.
According to the charging documents, Cortez was on conditional release for a conviction of criminal possession of dangerous drugs, and earlier in the day had reported to his Probation & Parole Officer and tested positive for meth. Police also found a “large sum of money” under his bed.
Mizenko reportedly admitted to the robbery, and that he used a gun; he also said that Cortez had driven the Jeep and provided him with the gun.
Mizenko, 22 years old, has been charged with robbery and assault with a weapon, both felonies, and misdemeanor obstructing a peace officer. Prosecutors requested that bond for Mizenko be set at $25,000.
Cortez, 20 years old, has been charged with robbery (conspiracy) and assault with a weapon (conspiracy), both felonies. There is no reference to a bond amount in the court documents for Cortez.
-David Sherman reporting for MTN News