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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Eastern District of Virginia

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, February 28, 2019

Five Plead Guilty to Violent Grocery Store Robberies

NORFOLK, Va. – Five Hampton Roads-area individuals pleaded guilty this week to their respective roles in a series of violent grocery store robberies in Chesapeake and Virginia Beach.

According to court documents, the individuals worked in at least six-member teams, and conducted armed robberies of a Food Lion in Chesapeake on September 25, a Food Lion in Virginia Beach on September 29, and a Harris Teeter in Virginia Beach on October 3. The teams included inside and outside look-outs, getaway drivers, and two gunmen. The teams used police scanners to monitor law enforcement activity, encrypted applications, and earpieces to communicate with one another. The inside look-out would find and identify the grocery store manager, initiate the robbery, and communicate the position of the manager to masked members of the conspiracy who entered the stores with firearms. At each robbery the gunmen demanded the managers open the grocery store safe. In the final robbery at a Harris Teeter in Virginia Beach, one of the gunmen shot the store manager.

Please see below for a list of defendants who have pleaded guilty in this case.

Name, Age

Hometown

Pleaded Guilty To

Maximum Sentence

Cato M. Battle, 18

Virginia Beach

1 Count of Conspiracy;

1 Count of Robbery; 1 Count of Using a Firearm During a Crime of Violence

Mandatory Minimum 7 years; Maximum Life

Willey E. Brooks, Jr., aka “Wally”, 26

 

Chesapeake

1 Count of Conspiracy;

2 Counts of Robbery; 2 Counts of Using a Firearm During a Crime of Violence

Mandatory Minimum 14 years; Maximum Life

Monica Perkins, 29

Norfolk

1 Count of Conspiracy;

1 Count of Robbery;

1 Count of Using a Firearm During a Crime of Violence

Mandatory Minimum 7 years; Maximum Life

Brandon C. Tisdale, aka “Dot, GM”, 20

Virginia Beach

1 Count of Conspiracy;

2 Counts of Robbery;

2 Counts of Using a Firearm During a Crime of Violence

Mandatory Minimum 17 years; Maximum Life

Trevor L. Tisdale, aka “T”, 24

 

Virginia Beach

1 Count of Conspiracy;

2 Counts of Robbery; 2 Counts of Using a Firearm During a Crime of Violence

Mandatory Minimum 14 years; Maximum Life

 

Keonte K. Yorkshire, aka Tae, 21 of Virginia Beach, pleaded guilty to his role in the offense on February 5 and faces a mandatory minimum of 17 years and a maximum sentence of life.

Actual sentences for federal crimes are typically less than the maximum penalties. A federal district court judge will determine any sentence after taking into account the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.

This case is part of Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), which is the centerpiece of the Department of Justice’s violent crime reduction efforts.  PSN is an evidence-based program proven to be effective at reducing violent crime. Through PSN, a broad spectrum of stakeholders work together to identify the most pressing violent crime problems in the community and develop comprehensive solutions to address them. As part of this strategy, PSN focuses enforcement efforts on the most violent offenders and partners with locally based prevention and reentry programs for lasting reductions in crime.

G. Zachary Terwilliger, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia, Martin Culbreth, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI’s Norfolk Division, James A. Cervera, Chief of Virginia Beach Police, and Kelvin L. Wright, Chief of Chesapeake Police, made the announcement after U.S. District Judge Raymond A. Jackson accepted the plea. Assistant U.S. Attorneys John F. Butler and Andrew C. Bosse are prosecuting the case.

This case was investigated by the FBI’s Tidewater Violent Crime Task Force, in partnership with the Virginia Beach and Chesapeake Police Departments.

A copy of this press release is located on the website of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Virginia. Related court documents and information is located on the website of the District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia or on PACER by searching for Case No. 2:18-cr-177.

Topic(s): 
Project Safe Neighborhoods
Violent Crime
Contact: 
Joshua Stueve Director of Communications joshua.stueve@usdoj.gov
Updated February 28, 2019