News and Press Releases

Last Member of Robbery Crew Pleads Guilty to Hobbes Act Robbery and Firearm Charges

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 12, 2013

Contact Person: Stacey Haynes (803) 929-3000

Columbia, South Carolina -----United States Attorney Bill Nettles stated today that JOHN WESLEY BOYCE, III, a/k/a “Duke,” age 22, of Columbia, South Carolina, pled guilty to conspiracy to commit a Hobbes Act robbery, a violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 1951(a), and to use/possession of firearms during and in furtherance of a crime of violence and/or drug trafficking crime, a violation of Title 18, United States Code, Sections 924(c) and 2.  United States District Judge Cameron McGowan Currie of Columbia accepted the guilty plea and will impose a sentence after she has reviewed the presentence report, which will be prepared by the U.S. Probation Office.

Evidence presented at the change of plea hearing established that on September 18, 2012, co-defendant JACQUAN OLANDO JONES, a/k/a “Jay,” a/k/a “Squeeze,” age 23, of Columbia, a prohibited felon, sold two handguns, ammunition, and a quantity of marijuana to a confidential informant working with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF).  Thereafter, JONES engaged in a conversation with the confidential informant about a robbery of kilogram amounts of drugs.  A plan was discussed in which BOYCE, along with co-defendants TRAVIS HOWARD, age 33, VERNON DAVIS, age 23, and EDDIE WILBERT MOBLEY, a/k/a “Bird,” age 26, all of Columbia, were to conduct the robbery while armed with firearms.  JONES was to receive a portion of the robbery proceeds for his role in coordinating it.  On October 30, 2012, agents with ATF arrested BOYCE, HOWARD, MOBLEY, and DAVIS while enroute to the robbery.   Inside the vehicle, agents recovered two 12 gauge shotguns, a .40 caliber handgun, and pepper spray.  BOYCE’S co-defendants all plead guilty in April and were sentenced this week.  JONES, HOWARD, MOBLEY, and DAVIS each have prior state conviction(s) and are prohibited from possessing firearms and ammunition.  DAVIS and JONES are known Bloods gang members. JONES  was sentenced to 180 months (15 years) imprisonment with 5 years of supervised release to follow;  HOWARD was sentenced to 151 months (12.5 years) imprisonment with 3 years of supervised release to follow;  DAVIS was sentenced to 101 months (8.4 years) imprisonment with 5 years of supervised release to follow; and MOBLEY was sentenced to 111 months (9.25 years) imprisonment with 5 years of supervised release to follow. 

Mr. Nettles stated that the conspiracy to commit Hobbes Act robbery charge carries a maximum of twenty (20) years imprisonment and/or a fine of $250,000;  the use/possession of firearms during and in furtherance of a crime of violence and/or drug trafficking crime charge carries a mandatory minimum of five (5) years and a maximum of Life imprisonment, consecutive to any other term of imprisonment; the felon in possession of a firearm and ammunition charge carries a maximum of ten (10) years imprisonment and a fine of $250,000; and the possession with intent to distribute and distribution of marijuana charge carries a maximum of five (5) years imprisonment and $250,000 fine.

The case was investigated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) and was prosecuted as part of the joint federal, state and local Project CeaseFire initiative, which aggressively prosecutes firearm cases.  Assistant United States Attorney Stacey D. Haynes of the Columbia office handled the case.

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