Four men are facing federal charges following a spree of violent robberies at AT&T stores in Connecticut and Western Massachusetts, authorities announced.
Hartford residents Alex Josephs, age 21, Ronaldo Smith, age 23, Shaquille Raymond, age 23, and Deshawn Baugh, age 19, have been charged following the spree, which included pistol-whipping some employees while threatening others at gunpoint.
Acting US Attorney Leonard Boyle said that an investigation by the FBI and local police agencies into a string of armed robberies at AT&T stores led them to identify the four as suspects.
According to Boyle, the four allegedly entered the stores shortly before closing, pointed weapons at employees, and, at times, pistol-whipped, dragged, and shoved employees toward the back inventory room.
They then allegedly held the employees at gunpoint while loading large bags with cell phones and other electronics.
In total, the group stole hundreds of thousands of dollars in merchandise, Boyle said.
It is alleged that Josephs, Smith, Raymond, Baugh, and others robbed AT&T stores in:
- Newington on Jan 29;
- Enfield on Feb. 24;
- Canton on April 15;
- West Springfield, Mass. on June 6.
The four also attempted to rob stores in Torrington on May 15 and Glastonbury on May 29, but were locked out of the stores.
Josephs, Smith, Raymond, Baugh, and Saviana Bourne were arrested on Sunday, June 6, after fleeing from the West Springfield robbery and leading police on a high-speed chase that ended when their vehicle collided with a Massachusetts State Police cruiser.
A search of the vehicle revealed a semiautomatic rifle, three handguns, and merchandise stolen during the robbery.
Josephs, Sith, Raymond, and Baugh were charged with:
- Conspiracy to commit Hobbs Act robbery;
- Brandishing a firearm during and in relation to a crime of violence;
- Multiple counts of Hobbs Act Robbery and attempted Hobbs Act robbery.
If convicted on the top charge, they face a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison on each count.
All four have been detained in Massachusetts since their arrests.
Bourne, age 23, of Middletown in Middlesex County, was the driver of the getaway vehicle that crashed on June 6.
On Tuesday, Nov. 30, she pleaded guilty in Hartford federal court to one count of conspiracy to commit Hobbs Act robbery, four counts of Hobbs Act robbery, and two counts of attempted Hobbs Act robbery.
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