Denver Pot Ambush Killing: 3 Plead Guilty For 2016 Robbery Scheme

DENVER, CO — Three of four people indicted by a grand jury in a 2016 marijuana-related ambush in Denver that left one dead pleaded guilty to a lesser charge of aggravated robbery, the Denver District Attorney’s office said. Seth Michael Binns, 24, and Ryan Arellano, 25, both pleaded guilty last Friday to one count each of aggravated robbery. Mackenzie Fay, 24, pleaded guilty last November to aggravated robbery.

Joshua Scott Binns, 34, who did not plead, is charged with two counts of first-degree murder, one count of felony murder,one count of first-degree assault in the first degree-deadly weapon, two counts of aggravated robbery and possession of a weapon by a previous offender.

The robbery and killing took place Nov. 8 2016, when Charles Polzin Jr., 50, of Loveland, along with his son and his son’s girlfriend, traveled to Denver’s Elyria-Swansea neighborhood in a Facebook-hatched scheme to sell 10 lbs of marijuana for $17,500. According to the indictment, Polzin’s son’s girlfriend asked her friend Mackenzie Fay via Facebook to line up a buyer in Denver for the pot.

According to the grand jury indictment, the four accused people then conspired to rob the Loveland group via cell phone texts with Arellano allegedly supplying a handgun and a family car for a getaway vehicle.

The Loveland group pulled up to the curb around 9:30 p.m. in the 4700 block of Clayton Street Nov. 8.

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Joshua Binns allegedly said, "Hey, you ain’t gonna rob me are ya?" Polzin allegedly responded, "nope, are you gonna rob us?" At that point, Binns allegedly pulled out a .40 caliber handgun and began to shoot into the pickup truck, killing Polzin and seriously wounding his son who was hospitalized with seven gunshot wounds, the indictment said.

Joshua Bins then demanded the location of the marijuana at gunpoint from the younger Polzin, saying "where is it? Don’t be a hero." Binns and Arellano grabbed a smaller bag containing a a couple pounds of marijuana and a money-counting machine but missed a larger duffle bag containing the bulk of the marijuana. Cigarette butts found near Polzin’s truck had Joshua Binns’ DNA on them, the indictment said.

Joshua Binns, via Denver DA’s Office

All four fled to east Texas in spring of 2017, where they were taken into custody by the Tyler, Texas Police Department and handed over to U.S. Marshals to be extradited back to Denver.

The four were indicted by grand jury in May of 2017.

Seth Binns, Arellano and Fay are scheduled to be sentenced on April 20. Seth Binns faces a possible sentence of 32 years and Fay and Arellano face potential sentences of 16-32 years and 16-26 years respectively.

Joshua Binns is scheduled for a disposition/motions hearing March 2.

Images: Mackenzie Fay, Ryan Arellano and Seth Binns, via Denver District Attorney’s Office

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