59 Charged with Illegal Trafficking, Possession, and Use of Firearms, Drug Trafficking, and Conspiracy as a Result of Summer Violent Crime Reduction Effort in Cleveland
A jury convicted two Cleveland men for their roles in armed robberies of Dollar Tree stores in Cleveland in May and June 2016.
Williams Holmes, 22, and Demon Carter, 25, are scheduled to be sentenced on Aug. 15.
Holmes was convicted of brandishing a firearm during robberies of the Dollar Tree store at 12900 Miles Road on June 4 and at 2892 East 116th Street on June 19, as well as robbing the Miles Road store on May 14.
Carter was convicted of violating the Hobbs Act by robbing the stores with Holmes on the May 14 and June 4. Carter is a former Dollar Tree employee.
Holmes entered the Miles Road store on the evening of June 4, 2016, held a handgun to an employee’s head and told the employee to disarm the alarm. Holmes took approximately $1,500 from the store, according to court documents and trial testimony
One day after that robbery, Holmes posted a photo of himself on Facebook holding a stack of money in one hand and a handgun in the other. The next day he posted a photograph of several stacks of money, a black pistol and candy laying on a table. Holmes captioned the photo: “Money guns n snacks is life,” according to court documents and trial testimony.
U.S. Attorney Justin E. Herdman said: “People who use firearms to rob others who are shopping or working belong in prison. We will continue to target these violent predators and work together to make our community a safer place to live, work and play.
“ATF and CPD are laser-focused on removing violent criminals from the streets of Cleveland,” said Trevor Velinor, ATF’s Special Agent in Charge for the Columbus Field Division. “These individuals used firearms to threaten innocent employees and steal from people who worked long hours. ATF, CPD, and all of our law enforcement partners are united in sending a clear message that our community is tired of firearms violence.”
Cleveland Police Chief Calvin Williams said: “Once again, a partnered effort between local and federal law enforcement and the federal justice system has resulted in the successful conviction of violent offenders. It is my hope that this sets an example for other young people in our communities considering committing offenses like these, as there are severe consequences for these actions.”
This case is part of Project Safe Neighborhoods, a program bringing together all levels of law enforcement and the communities they serve to reduce violent crime and make our neighborhoods safer for everyone. Attorney General Jeff Sessions reinvigorated PSN in 2017 as part of the Department’s renewed focus on targeting violent criminals, directing all U.S. Attorney’s Offices to work in partnership with federal, state, local, and tribal law enforcement and the local community to develop effective, locally-based strategies to reduce violent crime.
This case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Carol M. Skutnik and Megan Miller following an investigation by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and the Cleveland Division of Police.