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Press Release

Five Men Indicted for Hobbs Act Robberies of Seven Businesses in West Tennessee

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Western District of Tennessee

Jackson, TN – On November 20, 2017, a federal grand jury returned a 14-count indictment charging five defendants with federal Hobbs Act Robbery in West Tennessee. D. Michael Dunavant,U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Tennessee, announced the indictment today.

According to the indictment, from July 1, 2016 through October 31, 2016, Jenial Edwards, Scotty Edwards, Eddie Matthews, Zarius Norment and Johnny Cross were on a robbery crime spree. Separately and together, the defendants robbed seven different businesses in Bolivar, Whiteville, and Jackson, Tennessee. Some of the defendants possessed firearms in each of these robberies. The 14-count indictment charges each defendant with robbery affecting interstate commerce and carrying and/or brandishing firearms during the commission of the robberies. Jenial Edwards is also charged with being a felon in possession of a firearm.

The defendants are:

Jenial Edwards, 25, Bolivar, TN
Scotty Edwards, 25, Bolivar, TN
Eddie Matthews, 26, Bolivar, TN
Zarius Norment, 21, Whiteville, TN
Johnny Cross, 54, Bolivar, TN

If convicted, each defendant faces up to 20 years imprisonment for each of the robberies and a $250,000 fine. In addition, the defendants face a consecutive 7-year sentence for brandishing a firearm during the robberies. Jenial Edwards has an additional penalty of not more than 10 years for being a convicted felon in possession of a firearm. The United States also seeks criminal forfeiture of property involved in the crime.

This case was investigated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives; Hardeman County Sheriff’s Office; and Bolivar, Whiteville and Jackson Police Departments.

The charges and allegations contained in the indictment are merely accusations, and the defendants are considered innocent unless and until proven guilty.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Victor L. Ivy is prosecuting this case on the government’s behalf.

Updated November 28, 2017