Three victims called for help when armed robbers broke into their home but by the time officers left the scene of the crime, it was the residents of the house who were the ones hauled off to jail.
According to St. Clair County Sheriff's reports, occupants of a home at 2423 E. Main St. called 9-1-1 at 11:50 p.m. Monday and reported three or four men burst into the residence, armed with weapons, and attempted to rob them.
Both Sheriff's Department deputies and Belleville Police officers arrived at the scene and found the residents of the house standing in the back yard, one of them bleeding profusely from the head. They searched the home to see if the suspects were still inside.
Police didn't find any robbers. But they said they found plenty of a substance that appeared to be marijuana stuffed into glass jars sitting out in plain view.
Deputies called in the St. Clair County Sheriff Drug Tactical Unit to search the home more thoroughly. At 4 a.m., armed with a search warrant, the drug unit officers went through the house and said they found more than 2,700 grams of what they called "high grade cannabis" and large amount of cash.
"This is a case where the initial victims of this home invasion became suspects due to their illegal activity at the residence," said Lt. Kurt Eversman, supervisor of the drug tactical unit. "It is pretty clear why the suspects were trying to get into the house. We have some very good leads on the identity of the home invasion suspects and the investigation is ongoing."
Charged Thursday were:
* Nicholas J. Haas, 22, with one count of unlawful possession with the intent to deliver cannabis, a Class 1 felony. His bail was set at $200,000.
* Sean D. Hulse, 21, one count of unlawful possession with the Intent to deliver cannabis, a Class 1 felony. His bail was set at $150,000.
* Austin D. Robertson, 21, one count of unlawful possession with the intent to deliver cannabis, a Class 1 felony. His bail was set at $150,000.
Contact reporter Scott Wuerz at email@example.com or call 239-2626.