Charlotte Man Pleads Guilty in Simpsonville Gun Shop Robbery
For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of South Carolina
Columbia, South Carolina –------- United States Attorney Beth Drake, announced today that Sahier Lavon Richardson, age 18, of Charlotte pled guilty to charges stemming from his involvement in the pre-dawn break-in and theft of firearms from The Gun Shop in Simpsonville in October of 2016. Judge Bruce Howe Hendricks, of Charleston, accepted the plea and will impose sentence after she has reviewed the pre-sentence report prepared by the U.S. Probation Office.
The facts, presented by AUSA Bill Watkins at the guilty plea hearing, established that on October 13, 2016, at approximately 2:52 a.m., a burglary occurred at The Gun Shop and Indoor Range, a federal firearms licensee, in Simpsonville, South Carolina 29681. Surveillance camera footage from the store depicted a minivan driving though the front of the store and then three subjects (one of which was Richardson), wearing hooded sweatshirts, gloves and carrying bags, entering the store. Richardson and his associates used a sledge hammer and a baseball bat to break the glass from display cases containing firearms before loading handguns into the bags. The three men were in the store for just under one minute before they fled in a getaway car and abandoned the van at the scene. A subsequent inventory of the missing guns revealed that a total of forty-three (43) handguns had been stolen to include various models of Auto Ordnance, Bersa, Glock, Ruger, Sig Sauer, Smith & Wesson, Springfield Armory and Taurus firearms. The van was identified as a white Chrysler Town & Country which had been reported stolen from Denver, North Carolina.
Ms. Drake also thanked law enforcement for the excellent police work: “The Simpsonville and Charlotte police, ATF and the Lincoln County Sheriff, they pulled together to solve this one. Working together for safer communities is what it’s about.”
The maximum penalty Richardson faces is 10 years in prison, a $250,000 fine, three years of supervised release, and a special assessment fee of $100.
The investigation was conducted by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) with the assistance and cooperation of the Simpsonville Police Department, Charlotte Mecklenburg Police Department and the Lincoln County (North Carolina) Sheriff’s Department. The case has been assigned to Assistant United States Attorney Bill Watkins and First Assistant United States Attorney Lance Crick for prosecution. The investigation is still ongoing.
Lance Crick (864) 282-2105
Updated July 25, 2017