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Press Release

Serial Robber Sentenced to Prison for 13 Armed Robberies

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Eastern District of Virginia

RICHMOND, Va. – A Chesapeake man was sentenced today to more than 12 1/2 years in prison for using a knife to rob over a dozen convenience stores and gas stations within the Eastern District of Virginia. 

“Over 10 days earlier this year, the Carter brothers went on a violent and dangerous crime spree,” said G. Zachary Terwilliger, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia. “Michael Carter not only robbed 13 businesses, but he used a knife to threaten, to intimidate, and to terrify innocent individuals inside those businesses. The Carter brothers have shown they are a clear danger to the safety of our communities.”

According to court documents, from January 5 through January 15, Michael Thomas Carter, 29, Michael Carter, with the help of his brother, Joseph Carter, went on a 10 day crime spree that included numerous robberies and an attempted robbery of businesses in Richmond, Henrico, Chesterfield, and Hanover. Wearing a mask and armed with a knife, Michael Carter robbed 13 convenience stores and attempted to rob yet another convenience store. The FBI’s Central Virginia Violent Crimes Task Force (CVVCTF), working with local law enforcement, was able to identify the Carter brothers as the suspects involved in this string of robberies in which one masked man, armed with a knife, entered each business to demand cash from the business before fleeing the scene. Officers of the CVVCTF identified the car used by the Carters and began surveillance.

“In a brief but violent crime spree, Michael Thomas Carter and his accomplices committed more than a dozen armed robberies in the City of Richmond, Chesterfield, Hanover and Henrico Counties, targeting citizens and businesses alike,” said David W. Archey, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI’s Richmond Field Office. “The FBI’s Central Virginia Violent Crimes Task Force worked with its local partners to end Mr. Carter’s criminal activity, and will continue to investigate violent offenders who target commercial institutions for robbery. The FBI is grateful for these partnerships, as well as that of the United States Attorney’s Office, during this investigation.”

On January 15, law enforcement located the car approximately 10 minutes after the Carters robbed a gas station in Chesterfield. Detectives followed the car as the Carters drove into Richmond, and watched as Joseph Carter purchased narcotics from two locations in the city. When a traffic stop was initiated, Michael Carter ran from the car and hid in the woods. With the help of Air Unit and K-9 units, officers were able to locate Michael Carter and the clothing that he attempted to discard in the woods. Knives, clothing, and a black mask were recovered from the car. During the execution of a search warrant on the home of the brothers, some items stolen from the businesses were recovered.

Joseph Carter will be sentenced on October 10 for his role as the getaway driver for these crimes.       

G. Zachary Terwilliger, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia, and David W. Archey, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI’s Richmond Field Office, made the announcement after sentencing by U.S. District Judge M. Hannah Lauck. Assistant U.S. Attorney Janet Jin Ah Lee prosecuted the case.

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 are located on the website of the District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia or on PACER by searching for Case No. 3:19-cr-56.


Joshua Stueve
Director of Public Affairs

Updated September 12, 2019

Violent Crime