Former UK Football Player Arrested In Florida; Could Face Charges In Kentucky

A former walk-on football player at the University of Kentucky was arrested in Tampa, Florida on robbery charges and could face the same charges in his native Laurel County, Kentucky, according to the Laurel County Sheriff’s Office.

Investigators said Chad Michael Merida, 22, of Laurel County, was accused of robbing a PNC Bank in Tampa.

Investigators said during an interview with authorities, he admitted to robbing a Circle K and Marathon gas stations in Plant City, Florida.

He also admitted to unknown robberies in North Florida and was a suspect in a robbery in Temple Terrace, Florida, according to investigators.

Merida recently moved to Florida from Kentucky where he had been a stand-out student-athlete at South Laurel and Knox County high school’s before walking-on at UK, according to authorities.

Meantime, investigators said Merida could be charged with two robberies in London, Kentucky.

A Detective with the Laurel County Sheriff’s Office retrieved three latent fingerprints from the cash register at Saddlebrook’s Dollar General Store after it was robbed by a lone gunman on October 25, 2014.

Investigators said one of those fingerprints was positively matched by Kentucky’s AFIS system in Frankfort and matched positively with Merida in Florida.

On November 6, 2014, the Game Stop in London was held-up by a lone gunman and authorities said at the time that it was probably related to the Saddlebrook’s Dollar General Store robbery.

The two robbery cases in Kentucky will be presented to a Laurel County Grand Jury, according to the Laurel County Sheriff’s Office.

Investigators said Merida was recently medically discharged from the U.S. Army at Fort Benning, Georgia.

He remained jailed in Florida.

Categories: Local News, News

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