Lead Defendant in Series of Robberies, Kidnappings Pleads Guilty
Terence Tyree Admits to Participating in Violent Crime Spree
Charlottesville, VIRGINIA – A Greene County man, who along with others committed a series of armed and violent robberies across Albemarle and Greene counties, pled guilty today in the United States District Court for the Western District of Virginia in Charlottesville to federal firearms charges, Acting United States Attorney Rick A. Mountcastle announced.
Terence Tyree, 19, of Greene County, Va., pled guilty to two counts of using and carrying a firearm during and in relation to a crime of violence. Tyree faces a mandatory minimum sentence of 30 years in federal prison when he is sentenced April 12, 2017.
Tyree and five others were indicted late last year following a series of violent, armed robberies and kidnappings at local pizza chain restaurants, convenience stores, and a private residence in Albemarle and Greene County. Tyree is the second defendant directly involved in multiple robberies to plead guilty in federal court.
According to evidence presented at today’s hearing by Assistant United States Attorney Christopher Kavanaugh, Tyree admitted that he participated in a robbery of the Papa John’s Pizza on Seminole Trail in Greene County in the early morning hours of June 9, 2016. Surveillance footage and victim testimony would have shown that Tyree and the other two men dressed all in black, carried firearms and covered their faces in masks. They entered the store, displayed their weapons for the employees and demanded cash. The defendants stole cash and one employee’s cell phone.
Less than 10 days later, on June 17, 2016, Tyree and a co-defendant returned to the same Papa John’s Pizza and robbed it at gunpoint, again.
In addition, Tyree admitted today that he and others robbed Domino’s Pizza on Towncenter Lane in Albemarle County on June 27, 2016. In this instance, Tyree and a co-defendant entered the store, dressed in all black with their faces covered with masks. Inside the store, Tyree pointed his firearm at a store employee while his co-defendant, Kentavia Jones grabbed cash and cell phones.
Tyree also admitted that on July 7, 2016 he participated in the robbery of the Domino’s Pizza on Ford Avenue in Greene County. Once at the location, Tyree and another man put masks on their faces, got out of their vehicle, and ran into the store. As in the previous robbery, Tyree pointed his gun at store employees as his co-defendant, Kentavia Jones. As the defendants were running back to the car, a witness said something to the defendants, at which time one of the co-defendants fired a single shot into the air.
On July 18, 2016, Tyree and two co-defendants went to an Albemarle County home to commit an armed robbery, Tyree admitted in court today. The victim was inside, alone, when he heard a loud explosion. When he went to the living room, the victim saw that a propane tank had been thrown through his glass door and three masked individuals, dressed in all black, were in his living room, one of whom was armed with a pistol. Inside the house, the defendants ordered the victim to face the wall as they proceeded to ransack the house. As they were getting ready to leave, the defendants struck the victim in the head, causing him to fall to the floor. Once on the floor, Tyree and the others struck the victim again.
Tyree and the two co-defendants then commanded the victim, at gunpoint, to get into the back seat of his Lexus vehicle, which was then parked in the victim’s garage. All three defendants got into the car, with Tyree in the driver’s seat, and drove to a nearby ATM machine at the Wells Fargo bank located at the intersection of Route 29 and Airport Road in Albemarle County. Upon arrival at the bank, the defendants told the victim to get as much money as he could and return to the car. At that time, however, a second victim was observed in the bank parking lot, having just come from the nearby airport with his luggage still in hand. Tyree’s co-defendant got out of the car, pointed his gun at the traveling passerby, and ordered him to also get into the car. The second victim complied. The victim attempted to get money from the ATM machine but could not, so the victim was ordered to get back into the car.
Tyree then drove his co-defendants and the victims to a nearby 7-11 store. He parked the car, and then went inside and robbed the clerk at gunpoint. Jones drove everyone away from the scene. Soon thereafter, in a nearby neighborhood, the defendants stopped the car and told both victims to get out of the car and both victims complied. The defendants drove away. The defendants later abandoned the vehicle, which was ultimately recovered by law enforcement.
The investigation of the case was conducted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Albemarle County Police Department and the Greene County Sheriff’s Office. Assistant United States Attorneys Christopher Kavanaugh and Ronald M. Huber are prosecuting the case for the United States.