Federal Jury Convicts Armed Robbery Crew Leader
Tampa, Florida – United States Attorney Maria Chapa Lopez announces that a federal jury has convicted Rashid Iman Turner (32, Ft. Myers) for his involvement in a string of armed robberies of banks and retail stores. Following a seven-day trial, the jury found Turner guilty of one count of conspiring to interfere with interstate commerce by robbery, two counts of bank robbery, three counts of interference with interstate commerce by robbery, and three counts of brandishing a firearm in furtherance of a crime of violence. Turner faces a mandatory minimum penalty of 21 years, and up to life, in federal prison. Turner’s sentencing hearing is scheduled for August 20, 2019.
According to evidence presented at trial, Turner and co-defendant Petrie Addison forced entry into at least one retail store in Lehigh Acres shortly after closing time, held the employees at gunpoint, threatened to kill them and their families, forced them to open the safes, and stole the cash from the store. Co-defendant Dakiriya Lias served as their getaway driver. Eventually, Turner and Addison turned their attention to banks. In November 2017, they robbed a Wells Fargo Bank in Spring Hill. In December 2017, co-defendant Zachary Gloster joined the crew and they robbed Seacoast Banks in Arcadia and Port St. Lucie. In each of the bank robberies, the defendants stormed through the bank’s front doors shortly after opening time, held the employees at gunpoint, looted the teller drawers, and fled less than two minutes later.
Addison, Gloster, and Lias pleaded guilty for their roles in this case prior to Turner’s trial. They are currently awaiting sentencing.
This case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, with assistance from the Ft. Myers Police Department, the Lee County Sheriff’s Office, the Pasco Sheriff’s Office, the Hernando County Sheriff’s Office, the Florida Highway Patrol, the Arcadia Police Department, the Port St. Lucie Police Department, and the Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office. It is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Michael M. Gordon.
This is another case prosecuted as part of the Department of Justice’s “Project Safe Neighborhoods” Program (PSN), which is a nationwide, crime reduction strategy aimed at decreasing violent crime in communities. It involves a comprehensive approach to public safety — one that includes investigating and prosecuting crimes, along with prevention and reentry efforts. In the Middle District of Florida, U.S. Attorney Maria Chapa Lopez coordinates PSN efforts in cooperation with various federal, state, and local law enforcement officials.