Two in custody for three counts of aggravated robbery

Zachary Cortez and Tory Stelly

Two Beaumont residents are in custody for three counts of aggravated robbery after police say the two male suspects robbed three people, stealing the victims' cell phones when they refused to buy marijuana from the men. 

According to Officer Carol Riley of the Beaumont Police Department, three Hispanic males were walking on Avenue E near Gilbert on Monday, July 18, at about 7:00 p.m. when a beige 1998 Toyota Camry pulled up next to them. The Camry driver, 21-year-old Tory Stelly of Beaumont, asked if they wanted some marijuana. He also asked where they were from and what school they attended.

The victims told the man, "no," they were not interested in purchasing marijuana, reports Riley, and answered Stelly's questions. The passenger, Zachary Cortez, a 26-year-old Beaumont man, then exited the vehicle. Cortez was wearing a red bandanna and pointed a silver revolver at them, demanding they give him everything they had. Stelly also allegedly demanded that they give up their cell phones. The victims cooperated and called for help as soon as the suspects left.

Officers in the area located the vehicle and stopped it in the 2500 block of Amarillo in Beaumont. They recovered all of the victims' property and arrested Cortez and Stelly for three counts of aggravated robbery. The men remained in custody at the time of the release.

A criminal database search revealed both men have checkered pasts. 

In 2011 at age 16, Stelly spent time in juvenile detention, according to the database. In 2013, he was convicted of assault of a public servant and sentenced to one year in state jail. Stelly received 10 years probation for a 2014 aggravated robbery, a first-degree felony, in Jefferson County in 2015. He was on probation for that crime at the time of his most recent arrest. 

Cortez was arrested by officers with the Mexia Independent School District Police Department in 2008 at age 18 for assault of a public servant. He was sentenced to five years probation but, according to the database, he re-offended multiple times before he could complete it. He was arrested in Beaumont in 2009 for possession of marijuana. He received 30 days in jail for the possession charge, a mere slap on the hand when compared to a sentence he later served. In 2010, Cortez was arrested for criminal mischief causing damage between $1,500 and $20,000, a state jail felony. He got 12 months for that. He was also sentenced to four years confinement for violating his probation for assaulting a public servant, a sentence to run concurrent with his other. From January 2011 to September 2014, Cortez was incarcerated at a TDCJ unit in Limestone County. In 2015, he was arrested for domestic violence, specifically for assault causing bodily injury to a family member, and for theft of property worth $500 to $1,500, two crimes police reported occurring on the same day. He spent 30 days in jail, after receiving concurrent sentences of 30 and 20 days respectively, and was released late last year.