Knox Central graduate suspected in two robberies

Chad Michael Merida
Chad Michael Merida

Staff Report

According to a Laurel County Sheriff’s Department news release, a 2010 Knox Central High School graduate and former UK football player has been identified as a suspect in two armed robberies in Laurel County.

The first robbery occurred at the Saddlebrook Dollar General Store on KY 192 on Oct. 25, where a lone gunman entered the store and robbed the store clerk. Then on Nov. 6 at the Game Stop in London, a lone gunman entered the store and robbed the store clerk.

Investigators believed at the time that the two robberies were related.

The report states that on Nov. 25 a suspect was arrested for the robbery of a PNC Bank in Tampa, Florida. During an interview with the suspect, he admitted to several more robberies in Florida.

Laurel detectives had retrieved three latent fingerprints from the cash register at Saddlebrook’s Dollar General Store, and one of those prints was matched by Kentucky’s AFIS system in Frankfort as that of the man arrested in Florida.

The suspect has been identified as Chad Michael Merida, 22, of Tampa Florida, formerly of Knox County.

Authorities in Florida noted that Merida had recently moved from Kentucky where he played college football at the University of Kentucky and was recently medically discharged from the U.S. Army at Fort Benning, Georgia.

According to the release, Police will seek grand-jury indictments against Merida in both Laurel County cases.