Indictment Charges Fake Cops, Real Robbers in Robbery Conspiracy
Attempted Jewelry Store Heist In Police Costumes Among The Charges
PHILADELPHIA – An indictment was unsealed today, charging a Philadelphia-based group with conspiracy to commit violent robberies, including an attempted robbery of a Center City jewelry store in which the defendants impersonated police officers. Additionally, the indictment alleges that the robbers tracked their target victims with GPS devices to rob them in their homes. The indictment charges 16 defendants with conspiring to commit Hobbs Act Robbery and various other charges. Various defendants are charged in violent home invasion robberies or attempted robberies that included shooting one victim, water boarding and pouring boiling water on another, and, in one incident, assisting the scheme by playing the role of a robbery victim.
The charges were announced today by First Assistant United States Attorney Louis Lappen and Acting Special Agent-in-Charge Kelly D. Brady with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.
Charged are: Khalil Smith, Mark Woods, Marcus Bowens, Michael Queen, Terrace Munden, Robert Hartley, Hasan Chaney, Levern Jackson, Braheim Ballard, William Jefferson, Daniel Hayes, Jeffrey Bellamy, Romel Anthony, Eric Scott, Brandon Segers, all of Philadelphia, PA, and Jamal Doggett, of Willingboro, NJ.
According to the indictment, between September 2012 and April 29, 2014, in Philadelphia, Ambler, Hatfield, and elsewhere, the defendants conspired to commit robbery to obtain drugs, the proceeds from drug sales, jewelry and money from their victims by means of actual and threatened force, violence, and fear of injury. On July 15, 2013, the indictment alleges that Daniel Hayes and Brandon Segers entered the Platinum Jewelers, at 1136 Market Street, Philadelphia, wearing disguises and posing as customers. Smith and Marcus Bowens, it is alleged, entered the store posing as police officers. Smith allegedly pointed a gun at the store clerk and yelled “police,” while defendants Mark Woods, Michael Queen and Jeffrey Bellamy kept watch outside and/or monitored a police scanner. The defendants fled the scene after police were notified by a store clerk who pushed an alarm button.
In a previous alleged incident, on September 3, 2012, Eric Scott was among the guests in the victim’s Ambler home when he notified Smith and William Jefferson that they could rob the home. The indictment alleges that Smith and Jefferson entered the home wearing masks and armed with guns, which they pointed at the homeowner and guests, including Scott who pretended to be a victim. They tied up the victims, stole jewelry, cash, and a small amount of cocaine.
The indictment charges that between November 2013 and April 2014, Smith, Bowens, and a combination of other defendants committed four other home invasion robberies or robbery attempts. In November of 2013, Smith and Queen allegedly placed a GPS tracking device on vehicles driven by their target victim to find his home in Hatfield, PA. When the victim arrived home, he was met by the defendants who forced him inside at gunpoint where he was restrained, threatened, and assaulted. It is further alleged that Smith, Bowens, Queen, Doggett, and Ballard stole guns, electronics, and the victim’s BMW.
In January 2014, Smith, Bowens, Woods, Jackson, and Bellamy robbed a residence in Philadelphia of half a kilogram of cocaine, $10,000, and other items, while restraining, threatening, and assaulting the occupant.
In April 2014, defendants Smith, Bowens, Woods, Jackson, Bellamy, Munden, Hartley, and Chaney allegedly forced two victims to strip naked while robbing their Philadelphia home, and threatened to sodomize and kill them. They water boarded one victim and poured boiling water on him before stealing jewelry, an iPad and a 2009 Toyota Camry.
Later that month, defendants Smith, Bowens, Woods, Munden, Bellamy and Hartley tracked a Philadelphia resident they believed to be a drug dealer. They burglarized the home, stealing jewelry and electronics. Believing they missed the drugs and drug money, they returned a few days later and held two victims at gunpoint, shooting one of them before fleeing empty handed.
“These defendants are charged with engaging in a brazen crime spree of robbery and violence,” said Lappen. “They terrorized their victims, stole their money and property, and had the audacity to impersonate police officers in an effort to perpetrate their crimes. If convicted, the defendants face mandatory prison terms and lengthy guideline sentences which will ensure that they are off the street for a very long time.”
“These 16 defendants allegedly committed serious acts of violence that included armed home invasions, a shooting, and brutal physical torture,” said Brady. “They were well-organized, well-planned and well-armed. Now, this violent pattern of robberies has ended and these defendants face serious prison terms if convicted. ATF is committed to working with our law enforcement partners to reduce violent crime and increase public safety.”
The investigation was led by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives, with assistance from the Philadelphia Police Department, the Hatfield Township Police Department and the Whitpain Township Police Department. It is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Salvatore Astolfi and Jeanine Linehan.
An indictment is an accusation. A defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.