Two more men arrested in connection with violent Amherst home invasion

  • This home at 943 South East St. was the site of a violent home invasion on Oct. 30, 2016.  —Carol Lollis

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

BELCHERTOWN — Two more people have been charged in connection with a violent Amherst home invasion last October.

Tivon LaValley, 26, of Hadley, has been charged with assault and battery with a dangerous weapon, three counts of armed robbery while masked, breaking and entering in the nighttime for a felony, larceny over $250, and assault and battery, according to Amherst Police.

Warrens Gelin, 22, of Springfield, has been charged with assault and battery with a dangerous weapon and armed robbery.

Both men were arrested on warrants issued in March. According to police, individuals, armed and wearing tactical gear, allegedly ransacked a home at 943 South East St. in Amherst in pursuit of drugs and valuables during the early morning hours of Oct. 30, 2016. Two of the home’s residents were seriously injured while the home invasion was being carried out, according to authorities.

Amherst Police said LaValley was taken into custody by U.S. Marshals in San Francisco and was then extradited from California. He was arraigned and pleaded not guilty in Eastern Hampshire District Court May 19 and is being held at the Hampshire County Jail and House of Correction on $25,000 bail.

Gelin was arrested by Springfield Police and arraigned in Eastern Hampshire District Court, according to Amherst Police. His court file is sealed.

Gelin is being held on $50,000 at the Hampshire County Jail and House of Correction.

A total of seven people, including Gelin and LaValley, have been arrested in connection with the home invasion.

The five other people arrested and arraigned in Hampshire Superior Court on charges related to the incident are Stephanos Georgiadis, Patrick Bemben, Joseph T. Barcelos, John Joseph Niemiec III and Brittany Buckowski. All five have either made bail or were released with conditions.

Anonymous tipster

Two days after the home invasion, Amherst Police received an anonymous tip that two men, “Joey Barcelos” and “Tivon,” were involved with the incident, according to a report written by Amherst Police Detective Christina Knightly.

Although the tipster didn’t know Tivon’s last name, the individual told officers Tivon worked with Barcelos.

A call to their alleged place of employment confirmed the detail and lead police to obtain phone records between Barcelos and Bemben, according to court documents.

A week after the incident, a neighbor called police to report two men in her backyard. When officers responded to the area, they found Barcelos and another man. Barcelos told officers “they were looking for a bike trail,” Knightly wrote. The pair were asked to leave the property.

Following a property search, officers located a tactical glove and a crowbar which were similar to items seized from the South East Street residence.

“Mr. Lavalley was one of the masked men who approached 943 South East Street on foot and actively took part in the robbery, after which he fled through the woods behind the residence,” Knightly wrote.

LaValley allegedly recruited Barcelos to return to the residence a week later to retrive marijuana and other items that were left behind.

LaValley’s next court appearance is scheduled for June 6.