CHARLOTTE, N.C. – A federal jury in Charlotte returned a guilty verdict late yesterday against Ron McQuay Garland, 38, of Charlotte, for his role in a string of armed robberies and attempted armed robberies, and related firearms offenses, announced William T. Stetzer, Acting U.S. Attorney for the Western District of North Carolina. U.S. District Judge Kenneth D. Bell presided over the three-day trial.
Acting U.S. Attorney Stetzer is joined in making today’s announcement by Robert R. Wells, Special Agent in Charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Charlotte Division, and Chief Johnny Jennings of the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department.
According to filed court documents, witness testimony and evidence presented at trial, on August 19, 2019, Garland, robbed at gunpoint a Zaxby’s fast food restaurant, located at 8905 Albemarle Road in Charlotte. Garland entered the restaurant while brandishing a black semiautomatic pistol at the employees. Garland ordered an employee to open the cash register and took approximately $1,000 in cash. Garland subsequently fled the scene with a co-defendant. According to trial evidence, on September 21, 2019, Garland robbed a Family Dollar store located at 4130 Rozzelles Ferry Road, in Charlotte. As witnesses testified, Garland entered the store and brandished a handgun at a store employee. Garland then forced the employee to open the register and Garland stole approximately more than $1,000 before fleeing.
According to court documents and trial evidence, Garland also attempted to rob two other Charlotte area businesses. On August 21, 2019, Garland attempted to rob an Arby’s fast food restaurant, located at 2501 Little Rock Road in Charlotte. Garland entered the restaurant, pointed a handgun at the employees and demanded money from the cash register. Garland was unable to open the register but took an employee’s cell phone before fleeing the scene with a co-defendant. On February 11, 2020, Garland also attempted to rob a Jack-in-the-Box restaurant, located at 10121 North Tryon Street in Charlotte. Garland pointed a firearm at an employee who was taking out the trash and attempted to enter the restaurant, first through the back door and then through the front door but was ultimately unsuccessful. Garland stole a wallet from a customer in the parking lot after eventually abandoning the attempted robbery. Garland fled the scene with a co-defendant and was apprehended early the next morning by the FBI and CMPD.
The jury convicted Garland of two counts of robbery of a business affecting interstate commerce, or “Hobbs Act” Robbery, and two counts of attempted Hobbs Act Robbery, for which the maximum prison term is 20 years per count; two counts of possession of a firearm during and in relation to a crime of violence, which carry a maximum penalty of life in prison, per count; and one count of felon in possession of a firearm which carries a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison. A sentencing date has not been set.
Garland’s co-defendant, Chan Tate, previously pleaded guilty to aiding and abetting three counts of Hobbs Act or attempted Hobbs Act Robbery and is currently awaiting sentencing.
The investigation was handled by the FBI’s Violent Crimes Task Force and CMPD.
Assistant U.S. Attorneys William Bozin and Taylor Stout of the of the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Charlotte are in charge of the prosecution.