CHARLOTTE, N.C. – Today, U.S. District Judge Kenneth D. Bell sentenced to prison two men for the 2020 armed robbery of a convenience store in Charlotte, announced Dena J. King, U.S. Attorney for the Western District of North Carolina. Brandon Antoine Martin, 24, of Charlotte, was ordered to serve 132 months in prison followed by five years of supervised release. Rodrick Lovette Tillman, 29, also of Charlotte, was sentenced to 114 months in prison and five years of supervised release.
Robert R. Wells, Special Agent in Charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation in North Carolina, and Chief Johnny Jennings of the Charlotte Mecklenburg Police Department join U.S. Attorney King in making today’s announcement.
In February and March 2022, Tillman and Martin each pleaded guilty to robbery of a business affecting interstate commerce, or Hobbs Act Robbery, and possession and brandishing of a firearm in furtherance of a crime of violence. According to court documents and today’s sentencing hearing, on October 6, 2020, Tillman and Martin robbed the Xpress Mart convenience store located at 2700 N. Tryon Street in Charlotte. Court records show that Tillman entered the convenience store first pretending to be a customer. After picking up two items, Tillman approached the cash register as if to pay for them. While Tillman was at the counter, Martin entered the store. Martin walked up to the counter, pulled out a black semi-automatic pistol with an extended magazine, leaned over the counter and pointed the gun at the store clerk. According to court records, shortly after Martin pointed his gun at the victim, Tillman also pulled out a black semi-automatic pistol and pointed it at the victim. Tillman then walked around the counter and held the gun to the victim’s head and chest area while Martin remained across the counter, holding the gun to the victim’s torso. The victim opened the cash drawer and removed the cash. At least one of the gunmen then told the victim to move toward a cabinet/shelf to get more cash. The victim complied and Tillman accompanied him. The two robbers fled the scene with $400 in cash.
Following the robbery of the convenience store, Tillman and Martin were involved in a shooting incident at another location in Charlotte, during which Martin sustained a gunshot injury. Martin was taken to the hospital to receive treatment for his injury. While investigating the shooting incident, law enforcement recovered three loaded firearms from Martin’s vehicle, two of which Martin and Tillman had used during the convenience store robbery.
Over the course of the investigation, law enforcement determined that Martin is affiliated with the Bloods street gang. Law enforcement also determined that after the three firearms were seized from Martin’s vehicle following the robbery, Martin attempted to acquire another firearm by offering to trade cash and drugs.
In making today’s announcement, U.S. Attorney King thanked the FBI and CMPD for their investigation of the case.
Assistant U.S. Attorney David Kelly of the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Charlotte prosecuted the case.