2 South L.A. Men Indicted on Federal Charges of Robbing Undercover Secret Service Agent during Counterfeit Money Investigation
LOS ANGELES – A federal grand jury this afternoon returned an indictment that charges two men in a scheme to rob an undercover agent with the United States Secret Service at gunpoint under the pretense of selling the law enforcement officer counterfeit money.
Richard Taron Henderson, aka “Profit,” 22, and Tyre Jordan Simmons, aka “Reckless,” also 22, were named today in a six-count indictment that alleges one transaction involving counterfeit United States currency and an armed robbery of the undercover agent.
Both men are charged with conspiracy, robbery, assaulting a federal officer with a deadly weapon, and using a firearm during a crime of violence. Henderson is further charged with dealing counterfeit money, and Simmons is accused of being a felon in possession of a firearm.
The indictment alleges an October 18, 2017 incident in which Henderson allegedly sold 250 counterfeit $20 Federal Reserve Notes as part of a Secret Service investigation into the trafficking of counterfeit money.
As the investigation continued, Henderson allegedly negotiated a deal to sell $40,000 in counterfeit money. However, according to the indictment, the deal was a pretense to rob the undercover agent who was attempting to purchase the counterfeit money.
On March 26, Henderson arranged the meeting in South Los Angeles and prepared for it by stuffing clothes into a duffel bag to make it appear that the bag was filled with counterfeit money, according to the indictment. Henderson dispatched Simmons to meet with the undercover agent. During the meeting, Simmons allegedly produced a Taurus 9mm handgun, pointed it in the face of the undercover agent and robbed him of $4,500 in genuine United States currency and the keys to the undercover USSS vehicle. In committing the robbery, Henderson and Simmons put the life of the undercover agent in jeopardy by using a dangerous weapon.
Simmons, who was convicted of robbery in the Los Angeles County Superior Court in 2016, allegedly was a felon in possession of a firearm during the robbery.
An indictment contains allegations that a defendant has committed a crime. Every defendant is presumed to be innocent until proven guilty in court.
Simmons is scheduled to be arraigned on the indictment on April 19, and Henderson’s arraignment is set for the following day. Henderson and Simmons were previously arrested in this case pursuant to a criminal complaint, and Simmons remains in custody without bond.
If they were to be convicted, Henderson would face a statutory maximum sentence of 20 years for the counterfeit money charge. Both defendants would face up to 50 years for the charges related to the alleged robbery, plus a mandatory seven-year sentence related to the use of the firearm. And, Simmons would face up to 10 years in prison for being a felon in possession of a firearm.
This investigation is being conducted by the United States Secret Service.
The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Khaldoun Shobaki of the Cyber and Intellectual Property Crimes Section.