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Justice News

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

Thursday, September 20, 2018


Matthew D. Krueger, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Wisconsin, announced that on September 18, 2018, a federal grand jury returned a fifteen-count Indictment against Nickie M. Foster (age 22), Marquel L. Johnson (age 24), and Martell D. Ford (age 27), charging them with a series of robberies of taxi cab drivers and gas station employees between August 22, 2018, and August 25, 2018.   All three defendants are charged with conspiracy to commit Hobbs Act robbery.  Nickie M. Foster and Marquel L. Johnson are each charged with committing four robberies of taxi cab drivers, in violation of the Hobbs Act, and using, carrying, brandishing, and sometimes discharging a firearm during those robberies.  Both women are charged with the robbery of the Petro Mart on Chase Avenue in Milwaukee and the discharge of a firearm during the robbery of Petro Mart.  Martell D. Ford is charged with one taxi cab robbery and brandishing a firearm during the robbery.  Both Ford and Johnson are also charged with the attempted robbery of BP Gas Station on Plankinton Avenue in Milwaukee and the brandishing of a firearm during that attempted robbery. 

If convicted of the charges in the indictment, the defendants face up to twenty years of imprisonment, three years of supervised release, and a $250,000 fine as to the conspiracy to commit Hobbs Act robberies and each of the Hobbs Act robberies. Each of the brandishing of a firearm counts involves a mandatory minimum sentence of seven years and a maximum of life in prison and the counts of discharging of a firearm involve a mandatory minimum sentence of ten years with a maximum of life in prison, which must run consecutive to any other sentence.  Convictions of any second or subsequent of the firearms counts carries a mandatory minimum of 25 years, consecutive to any other sentence.

With respect to the taxi cab robberies, the criminal complaint filed in this case alleged that on August 22 and August 23, 2018, Foster was the passenger in several taxi cabs when she brandished a firearm and demanded money and other items from the drivers.  During the course of these robberies, Foster pointed a silver handgun at the taxi cab drivers, and, on at least one occasion, discharged the firearm after leaving the taxi cab.  During the Petro Mart gas station robbery on August 23, 2018, Foster entered the Petro Mart with Marquel Johnson.  Foster brandished a silver handgun and proceeded to shoot the gas station employee in the head.  Foster then emptied the cash from the register while Johnson took possession of the firearm and pointed it toward the gas station employee, who was on the ground.  On August 25, 2018, Johnson and Ford entered the BP gas station.  Johnson pointed a silver handgun at the clerk and demanded money.  The clerk locked the doors to the store, trapping Johnson in the store.  Eventually, Johnson was able to exit the store.  Later that day, after engaging in a vehicle pursuit with law enforcement, Johnson was arrested.  Police officers recovered a silver handgun from Johnson when she was arrested.  

This case was investigated by the FBI’s Milwaukee Area Violent Crimes Task Force and the Milwaukee Police Department.  This case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Margaret B. Honrath.  

An indictment is only a charge and is not evidence of guilt.  A defendant is presumed innocent and is entitled to a fair trial at which time the government must prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.

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Updated September 20, 2018