Columbia Man Sentenced After Attempting to Bring Stun Guns, Smoke Grenades, Knives, and Pepper Spray Into Columbia Airport
Charleston, South Carolina --- United States Attorney Peter M. McCoy, Jr., announced today that Julius Hamilton Washington, 29, of Summerville, was sentenced to 12 years in federal prison after pleading guilty to his role in a series of armed robberies that culminated in a high speed chase and shots fired at South Carolina Highway Patrol Troopers.
Evidence presented to the court showed that Washington was one of four individuals indicted in 2018 for robbing multiple businesses and business employees at gunpoint. The four defendants conspired to commit multiple armed robberies of businesses, including a Dollar General Store in Awendaw, a Verizon Store in Summerville, and a Verizon Store in Waxhaw, North Carolina. The string of robberies ended shortly after the four robbed the Verizon Store in Waxhaw on February 10, 2017. Like in other robberies, the four held the store employee at gunpoint while they stole cell phones and electronic devices from the store’s safe. Immediately after the robbery, the defendants were tracked from North Carolina into South Carolina, where South Carolina Highway Patrol Troopers located their car and attempted to stop them. The defendants did not stop, and instead fled at high speeds and fired shots at the pursuing Troopers. No Troopers were hit by the shots, and the pursing Troopers were eventually able to push the defendants’ car into a median where it crashed, and all four defendants fled.
Investigators were eventually able to identify each defendant and determine their involvement in the crimes. Washington is the fourth and final defendant to be sentenced. Co-defendant D’Angelo Antonio Coakley, 30, of Mount Pleasant, was sentenced to 24 years; co-defendant Malik Juwan Gadist, 23, of Mount Pleasant, was sentenced to 10 years imprisonment; and co-defendant Paul Anthony Walker, 24, of Goose Creek was sentenced to 10 years imprisonment.
United States District Judge David C. Norton sentenced Washington to 144 months, to be followed by a five-year term of court-ordered supervision. The sentencing hearing was conducted virtually, under the federal CARES Act, so that the parties did not appear in the Courtroom.
The case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Charleston County Sheriff’s Office, Dorchester County Sheriff’s Office, Richland County Sheriff’s Department, South Carolina Highway Patrol, South Carolina Law Enforcement Division, and the Waxhaw, North Carolina, Police Department. Assistant United States Attorney Nathan Williams prosecuted the case.
The year 2020 marks the 150th anniversary of the Department of Justice. Learn more about the history of our agency at www.Justice.gov/Celebrating150Years.
Derek A. Shoemake (843) 813-0982