FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
THURSDAY - May 18, 2011
SONIC RESTAURANT ROBBER INDICTED
GREENVILLE - United States Attorney George E.B. Holding announced that in federal court today KENNETH FUQUAN ARTIS, 22, of Greenville, North Carolina, was brought before United State Magistrate Judge David W. Daniel for an initial appearance for charges stemming from the robberies of Sonic Drive-In Restaurants in the Greenville area.
A Federal Grand Jury returned an eight-count Criminal Indictment on May 10, 2011, charging ARTIS with four counts of Hobbs Act Robbery, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 1951, and four counts of using or carrying a firearm during and in relation to a crime of violence or possession of a firearm in furtherance of a crime, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 924(c)(1)(A).
According to the Indictment, in August and September, 2010, ARTIS, using a gun, robbed each of the two Sonic restaurants twice stealing, in total, approximately $6,491.92.
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.
For each of the Hobbs Act robbery charges, the maximum penalty is up to 20 years’ imprisonment followed by up to three years’ supervised release. For the first charge of using or carrying a firearm during a crime of violence, the maximum penalty is up to a life-term of imprisonment, with a mandatory sentence of 10 years, consecutive to any other sentence served, however, for each of the three consecutive firearms charges, the maximum penalty is up to a life-term of imprisonment, with a mandatory of 25 years, consecutive to any other sentence served.
An indictment contains allegations that a defendant has committed a crime. Every defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty in court.
Investigation of this case was conducted by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and the Greenville Police Department. Assistant United States Attorney John Bennett was the assigned prosecutor.
News releases are available on the U. S. Attorney’s web page at www.usdoj.gov/usao/nce within 48 hours of release.