News and Press Releases

Newport News Man Sentenced to 26 years for Robbery and Discharge of a Firearm

January 18, 2012

NEWPORT NEWS, Va. – Raymond Ernest Brown, 23, of Newport News, VA, was sentenced today to 320 months in prison, followed by a five year term of supervised release, for participating in the robbery of Demareo Hardy on March 20, 2009.

Neil H. MacBride, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia, made the announcement after sentencing by United States District Judge Rebecca Beach Smith. Brown pled guilty on October 13, 2011, to robbery affecting interstate commerce and discharge, use, carry and possess a firearm.

            Brown was indicted on March 8, 2011, along with seven others, some of whom were alleged members of the “Ivy Street Gangstas, (ISG)” which operated in the area around the intersection of 9th Street and Ivy Avenue in Newport News Virginia and the area of Brittany & Sweetbriar Apartments in Hampton, Va. Members and associates of “ISG” included members of the “Bloods” and “Crips,” which are national gangs.  According to the indictment, members of “ISG” were accused of coordinating with one another to commit robberies, narcotics distribution and acts of fraud in an effort to obtain money and property to benefit the gang.

            In a statement of facts filed with his plea agreement, Brown admitted his involvement in the robbery of Demareo Hardy in the Brookridge Apartment complex in Newport News. Brown was a passenger in a vehicle driven by Andra Green, and occupied by Alfonso Sheppard and another co-defendant.  Demareo Hardy was walking on the sidewalk when Sheppard told Green to stop the vehicle and got out. Sheppard was handed a firearm by a co-defendant and confronted the victim. As another vehicle approached, Green drove away from the scene. Upon his return he found Sheppard standing with the victim. Brown, along with a juvenile who was also in the vehicle, got out of the vehicle and approached the victim.  Brown pushed the victim to the ground and they all began to assault the victim by stomping and kicking him. Sheppard then shot the victim multiple times and got back in the vehicle leaving the victim without any clothes on to die on the street.  Sheppard faces a maximum sentence of life in relation to the murder of Demareo Hardy. Sheppard will be sentenced on April 4, 2012. Andra Green also faces a life sentence when he is sentenced on January 25, 2012.


            This case was investigated by FBI and Newport News Police Department.  Assistant United States Attorneys Lisa R. McKeel, Eric Hurt, and Howard J. Zlotnick are prosecuting the case on behalf of the United States.

A copy of this press release may be found on the website of the United States Attorney's Office for the Eastern District of Virginia at  Related court documents and information may be found on the website of the District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia at or on


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