News and Press Releases

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

THURSDAY - September 9, 2010

ROBBERS PLEAD GUILTY

WILMINGTON - United States Attorney George E.B. Holding announced that in federal court two defendants pled guilty to charges relating to the armed robbery of a Raleigh Moe's Southwest Grill. SHANIQUA SHONTA BURRELL, 20, and DWIGHT SHERROD TAYLOR, 22, both of Raleigh, North Carolina, each pled guilty before Senior United States District Judge James C. Fox to one count of conspiring to rob a business in interstate commerce, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 1951, and one count of using and carrying a firearm during a federal crime of violence, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 924(c).

A Federal Grand Jury returned a Superseding Criminal Indictment on August 11, 2010.

According to the Superseding Indictment and statements made during court hearings, on February 11, 2010, police officers were dispatched to an armed robbery at Moe’s Southwest Grill in Cameron Village. The restaurant manager had closed and exited the store with two deposit bags. A vehicle carrying BURRELL and TAYLOR, along with their two co-defendants, pulled into the parking lot. A co-defendant jumped from the vehicle, pointed a revolver at the manager and said, “Give me the money. Give me the money.” The second co-defendant jumped from the vehicle demanding the manger’s phone and car keys. Both men jumped back into the vehicle and took off. The responding officers spotted the vehicle and tried to stop it. The driver attempted to elude police, but crashed the vehicle with all four occupants jumping out of and running from the vehicle. TAYLOR was captured and had one of the bank deposit bags in his possession. Officers located the revolver next to the passenger’s side in the vehicle. BURRELL, along with co-defendants Tahji Eley and Michael Spencer, were also captured and arrested. Eley was found with the second deposit bag.

For the robbery charge, each defendant faces a maximum penalty of up to 20 years' imprisonment followed by up to three years' supervised release and a fine of up to $250,000. For the firearm charge, each defendant faces up to a life-term of imprisonment, consecutive to any other term of imprisonment imposed, followed by up to five years' supervised release and a fine of up to $250,000.

This case was part of the Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN) initiative which encourages federal, state, and local agencies to cooperate in a unified “team effort” against gun crime, targeting repeat offenders who continually plague their communities.

Investigation of this case was conducted by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosive and the Raleigh Police Department. Assistant United States Attorney Jane Jackson represented the government.

News releases are available on the U. S. Attorney’s web page at www.usdoj.gov/usao/nce within 48 hours of release.

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