Man convicted for role in armed robbery of Colonial Heights Sprint Store
RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - A Norfolk man has been convicted for his role in robbing a Colonial Heights Sprint Store in January 2019.
“As the evidence at trial demonstrated, the defendant and his co-conspirator participated in an armed robbery in which they restrained and frightened the victims,” said Raj Parekh, Acting U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia. “Thanks to the thorough investigative efforts of our law enforcement partners and the trial team, the defendant has been held accountable for his role in jeopardizing the safety of our community members.”
According to court records and evidence, Ronnell Kareem Levon Johnson, 27, and his co-conspirator, T.R., traveled to Colonial Heights and committed the violent armed robbery.
“During the robbery, T.R. brandished a loaded .40 caliber Ruger semi-automatic pistol and forced two employees into a back room of the store, where he let Johnson in through the back entrance. Johnson entered the store and started gathering Sprint Store merchandise into a bag,” a release said.
The duo then held the two employees hostage and tried to tie them up. Due to a time delay lock on the store’s safe, they had to wait 20 minutes for it to open.
“During that time, two separate customers entered the front of the store. T.R. let one of the employees assist each customer, along with a warning that the employee would be killed if he tried to alert anyone about the crime. The employee followed those instructions and the final customer left without incident,” a release said.
Minutes later, the safe opened, and Johnson and T.R. tole dozens of cellular telephones and other store merchandise. The value was about $25,000.
During a search of T.R.’s home, officers found the loaded .40 caliber Ruger semi-automatic pistol used in the robbery, various Sprint Store items and other evidence.
“T.R. later pleaded guilty for his role in the armed robbery, as well as additional charges. Using toll records and cellular tower data, law enforcement later identified Johnson as T.R.’s co-conspirator in the armed robbery based on Johnson’s travel to and from the Colonial Heights Sprint Store on January 7, 2019, along with other evidence,” a release said.
A jury convicted Johnson on one count of robbery affecting commerce. He is scheduled to be sentenced in August and faces a maximum sentence of 20 years.
For more details, click here.
Copyright 2021 WWBT. All rights reserved.
Want NBC12’s top stories in your inbox each morning? Subscribe here.