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CONTACT: Fred Alverson
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COLUMBUS – Darnell J. Harris, 26, of Canal Winchester, Ohio, was sentenced to 171 months in prison and his sister, Mariah Harris, 20, was sentenced to 108 months in prison for committing a takeover style armed robbery of a Reynoldsburg jewelry store in May, 2012. They were also ordered to pay $58,519.31 in restitution to the business, the victims and the business’s insurance company.

Carter M. Stewart, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Ohio, Michael Boxler, Special Agent in Charge, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), and Reynoldsburg Police Chief Jim O’Neill announced the sentences handed down today by Senior U.S. District Judge Peter C. Economus.

According to court documents, Mariah Harris entered Heins Jewelers posing as a customer shopping for engagement rings. Once she had the attention of both employees, Darnell Harris entered the store carrying a handgun and ordered both employees into a back room where he tied up the employees. One loosened his restraints and tried to escape. Darnell viciously beat the employee with the gun, causing severe face and head trauma. The siblings fled the store with cash and jewelry.

Reynoldsburg and Pickerington police officers arrested Darnell Harris in March 2013 following a traffic stop in Pickerington. Mariah Harris surrendered to the Reynoldsburg Police and was arrested there. Darnell Harris has been in custody since his arrest. They pleaded guilty in September 2013 to one count of obstructing interstate commerce (Hobbs Act). Darnell Harris pleaded guilty to one count of brandishing a firearm during a crime of violence.

U.S. Attorney Stewart commended the investigation conducted by the ATF and Reynoldsburg Police. Assistant U.S. Attorneys David J. Bosley and Doug Squires prosecuted the case.

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