Nine Indicted for Violent Grocery Store Robbery Spree

DOJ - Department of Justice
DOJ - Department of Justice
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NORFOLK, Va. – A federal grand jury has returned an indictment charging nine individuals for their respective roles in a series of violent grocery store robberies in Chesapeake and Virginia Beach.

According to allegations in the indictment, the individuals worked in at least six-member teams, and conducted armed robberies of a Food Lion in Chesapeake on September 25, a Food Lion in Virginia Beach on September 29, and a Harris Teeter in Virginia Beach on October 3. The teams included inside and outside look-outs, getaway drivers, and two gunmen. The teams used police scanners to monitor law enforcement activity, encrypted applications, and earpieces to communicate with one another. The inside look-out would find and identify the grocery store manager, initiate the robbery, and communicate the position of the manager to masked members of the conspiracy who entered the stores with firearms. At each robbery the gunmen demanded the managers open the grocery store safe. In the final robbery at a Harris Teeter in Virginia Beach, one of the gunmen shot the store manager.

All nine defendants were charged with Conspiracy to Interfere with Commerce by Means of Robbery. They were also named in the indictment with the following charges:

Name, Age

Hometown

Charges

Devonta Doyle, aka “Vontay”, 22

Virginia Beach

3 Counts of Robbery; 3 Counts of Using a Firearm During a Crime of Violence; 1 Count of Felon in Possession of a Firearm

Cato M. Battle, 18

Virginia Beach

2 Counts of Robbery; 2 Counts of Using a Firearm During a Crime of Violence

Willey E. Brooks, Jr., aka “Wally”, 26

Chesapeake

2 Counts of Robbery; 2 Counts of Using a Firearm During a Crime of Violence

Darrius A. Heuser-Whitaker, 19

Virginia Beach

2 Counts of Robbery; 2 Counts of Using a Firearm During a Crime of Violence

Monica Perkins, 29

Norfolk

1 Count of Robbery

Brennan K. Smith, aka “Dub”, 22

Virginia Beach

1 Count of Robbery; 1 Count of Using a Firearm During a Crime of Violence

Brandon C. Tisdale, aka “Dot, GM”, 20

Virginia Beach

3 Counts of Robbery; 3 Counts of Using a Firearm During a Crime of Violence

Trevor L. Tisdale, aka “T”, 24

Virginia Beach

2 Counts of Robbery; 2 Counts of Using a Firearm During a Crime of Violence

Keonte K. Yorkshire, aka “Tae”, 21

Virginia Beach

3 Counts of Robbery; 3 Counts of Using a Firearm During a Crime of Violence

 

Several of those indicted face a mandatory minimum penalty of 60 years in prison, and a maximum penalty of life in prison, if convicted on all counts. The maximum statutory sentence is prescribed by Congress and is provided here for informational purposes, as the sentencing of each defendant who is convicted will be determined by the court based on the advisory Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.

G. Zachary Terwilliger, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia, Martin Culbreth, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI’s Norfolk Division, James A. Cervera, Chief of Virginia Beach Police, and Kelvin L. Wright, Chief of Chesapeake Police, made the announcement.

This case is part of Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), a program bringing together all levels of law enforcement and the communities they serve to reduce violent crime and make our neighborhoods safer for everyone. The Department of Justice reinvigorated PSN in 2017 as part of a renewed focus on targeting violent criminals, directing all U.S. Attorney’s Offices to work in partnership with federal, state, local, and tribal law enforcement and the local community to develop effective, locally-based strategies to reduce violent crime.

This case was investigated by the FBI’s Tidewater Violent Crime Task Force, in partnership with the Virginia Beach and Chesapeake Police Departments. Assistant U.S. Attorneys John F. Butler and Andrew C. Bosse are prosecuting the case.

A copy of this press release may be found on the website of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Virginia.  Related court documents and information may be found on the website of the District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia or on PACER by searching for Case No. 2:18-cr-177.