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Four men have pleaded guilty to federal criminal charges after being connected to a slew of robberies across eastern Virginia and parts of North Carolina.
Dikembwe Akil Jones, 24; Dallas Cogdell, III, 24; Tyquan Demario MacCutcheon, 25; and Armand Devon Mullen, 26 each admitted to robbing convenience stores and pharmacies around eastern Virginia, including in Williamsburg and Hampton, during an appearance Monday in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia, according to court records.
Each man pleaded guilty to one count of robbery and one count possession of a firearm during, in relation to and in furtherance of a crime of violence, according to the men’s plea agreements.
The four men were charged in connection with a May 12 robbery at a Walgreens on S. Laburnum Avenue in Henrico County, the plea agreements state.
Although the charges come from the robbery in Henrico, all four plea agreements connect each of the men to at least one other area robbery that occurred between October 2015 and May 2016.
In the plea agreements, all four men admitted to five robberies between May 12 and May 16. Cogdell admitted to 14 additional robberies between October 2015 and April 2016, all of which were in Hampton. Mullen admitted to taking part in three of the Hampton robberies in March and May, according to court documents. Jones and MacCutcheon also admitted to the Williamsburg robbery.
Court records state that during the Henrico robbery, two men demanded money from a clerk at the front of the store while the other two went back to the pharmacy. Mullen and Cogdell brandished two firearms, a black and silver SIG Sauer 9mm pistol and a black Taurus Millenium 9mm pistol, during the incident.
According to a statement of facts filed with the plea agreement, one of the men pointed a gun at the pharmacy employee, demanding money, and “warned her to hurry up.” As the employee complied, the unarmed man told the armed man to “cap this b***h,” the documents state.
The men left the store with one employee’s iPhone and $480 in U.S. currency, according to the documents.
Jones, MacCutcheon, Mullen and Cogdell were arrested by police on May 16 in Durham, N.C. after leaving the scene of a Walgreens robbery in an orange Plymouth Neon.
Court documents say three of the men, Cogdell, Mullen and MacCutcheon, entered the store wearing masks and blue latex gloves and demanded money from the registers at the front of the store.
After getting money from the front registers, the men went to the back of the store and demanded money from the safe and a register in the photo section. The men also took a bottle of Oxycodone and three bottles of Vicodin, an employee’s wallet and the pharmacist’s personal cell phone, records state.
The cash and medication totaled $4,814.42 in value, according to court documents.
The men drove off in an orange Plymouth Neon, which the driver and owner, Jones, told Federal Bureau of Investigation agents was the car he used when he “did dirt,” court documents state.
One employee was unnoticed by the men and was able to run from the building and call police with a description of the vehicle they were driving.
When police stopped the vehicle, the officer observed one gun, a bag with prescription bottles inside, blue latex gloves and cash in plain sight inside the car.
During the traffic stop, the Walgreens pharmacist called his cell phone, which began ringing from one of the men’s pockets, reading “WAG RX DURHAM” on the screen, court documents state.
Prosecuting the robberies
The FBI investigated the incidents, eventually getting a warrant for the men’s arrests on Aug. 4. The men were arrested Aug. 12.
During a May 24 interview with the FBI, the men each identified themselves as the suspects in surveillance footage from the Henrico Walgreens robbery.
In court on Monday, the court accepted the men’s plea agreements, which suggested each man serve 27 years in prison, comprised of 20 years for each robbery charge and seven years for each firearm charge.
Sentencing for the four men is scheduled for Feb. 22. Although the plea agreements outline specific sentences, the judge is not required to adhere to the recommended sentences in the plea agreements.
The robbery charge carries a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison, three years of supervised release and fines up to $250,000. The firearm charge carries a mandatory minimum sentence of seven years in prison with a maximum sentence of life in prison, five years of supervised release and fines up to $250,000.
Fearing can be reached at 207-975-5459.