FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
THURSDAY - December 1, 2011
TWO DEFENDANTS PLEAD GUILTY TO ROLES IN ROBBERIES
RALEIGH - United States Attorney Thomas G. Walker announced that in federal court today RHAIM MOISES SANTIAGO, 18, and ISHMAEL AVIVE SANTIAGO, 20, both of Clayton, North Carolina, each pled guilty before United States District Judge Terrence W. Boyle for their roles in two robberies committed in Clayton, North Carolina, on July 28, 2011, and July 29, 2011. Both RHAIM SANTIAGO and ISHMAEL SANTIAGO face a statutory maximum of life imprisonment.
A Federal Grand Jury returned a Criminal Indictment on September 28, 2011. Each defendant pled guilty to Hobbs Act robbery, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 1951, and using and carrying a firearm during and in relation to a crime of violence, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 924(c). Additionally, RHAIM SANTIAGO pled guilty to carjacking, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 2119.
The investigation revealed that on July 28, 2011, both RHAIM SANTIAGO and ISHMAEL SANTIAGO obtained a firearm with an unindicted, juvenile co-conspirator. Both RHAIM SANTIAGO and ISHMAEL SANTIAGO carried the firearm to the Walgreens located at 11306 US Highway 70 West in Clayton, North Carolina. Upon their arrival, both RHAIM SANTIAGO and ISHMAEL SANTIAGO entered the Walgreens with the firearm, approached the clerk, and demanded the money in the cash register. As the robbery was taking place, RHAIM SANTIAGO assaulted the clerk by hitting the clerk in the head with the firearm. After obtaining cash from the register, they fled the area on foot.
The investigation further revealed that on July 29, 2011, the day after the Walgreens robbery, RHAIM SANTIAGO approached a resident of Clayton. SANTIAGO then pointed a gun at the victim’s chest and demanded the keys to the victim’s vehicle, which was parked nearby. The victim complied with SANTIAGO’s demands and fled the area in the victim’s vehicle. The victim’s small child was with the victim as the robbery occurred. After a short police chase, SANTIAGO wrecked the vehicle. He was arrested shortly thereafter.
Investigation of this case was conducted by the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation and the Clayton Police Department. Assistant United States Attorney Rudy E. Renfer represented the government.