Defendant Sentenced in Manhattan Federal Court to 20 Years in Prison for Leading Crew That Committed Violent Daytime Robberies of Jewelry and Watch Stores Across Northeast
Preet Bharara, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, announced that SEAN ROBINSON was sentenced today in Manhattan federal court to 20 years in prison for leading a robbery crew that committed violent daytime robberies of jewelry and watch stores in 2013 and 2014. Since February 2014, ROBINSON and ten other defendants have been charged for their respective roles in this robbery conspiracy. In May 2014, ROBINSON pled guilty to participating in the robbery conspiracy. ROBINSON was sentenced by United States District Judge Loretta A. Preska.
Manhattan U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara said: “Sean Robinson led a violent robbery crew that terrorized employees and customers at high-end jewelry and watch stores up and down the Northeastern seaboard, from Manhattan, Brooklyn, and Connecticut to New Jersey and Virginia. Robinson’s crime spree included a gunpoint robbery in broad daylight of a Brooklyn jewelry store where the robbers shot the store owner.”
According to the allegations contained in court documents previously filed in federal court, and statements made in court during the pleas and sentencing proceedings of ROBINSON and other members of the conspiracy:
Between approximately July 1, 2013, and January 30, 2014, a highly organized crew engaged in a series of violent robberies of high-end jewelry and watch stores located in four states. During those robberies, crew members smashed display cases with hammers while customers and employees were in the stores and stole more than a million dollars in luxury watches.
The crew at times used violence to carry out the scheme. For example, during the September 23, 2013, armed daytime robbery of a jewelry store in Brooklyn, New York, in which two of the robbers displayed handguns, one of the robbers shot the store owner when he attempted to prevent members of the crew from fleeing with stolen jewelry. ROBINSON, the leader of the crew, planned the September 23, 2013, robbery, as well as a series of other robberies committed by this crew.
Among the stores robbed by the crew are: Cartier, Travers Jewelers, and Golden Nugget Jewelry, all in Manhattan, the Borgata Hotel and Casino in Atlantic City, New Jersey, Schwarzschild’s Jewelers in Richmond, Virginia, Martin Jewelers in Cranford, New Jersey, Henry Reid and Sons Jewelers in New Canaan, Connecticut, and Litan Jewelers in Brooklyn, New York.
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In imposing today’s sentence, Judge Preska noted that ROBINSON “planned and organized all of these robberies,” which were “very serious offenses with serious consequences to victims [and] bystanders.” Judge Preska also said that ROBINSON’s “involvement reflects a total disregard for the law.”
Eleven defendants have been charged in this investigation. Two members of this conspiracy were previously sentenced. On March 18, 2015, Judge Preska sentenced Allen Williams to 108 months in prison. On October 23, 2014, United States District Judge Robert P. Patterson sentenced Terrell Ratliff to 33 months in prison. Two members of the conspiracy, Jamal Dehoyos and Courtney Hardin, are currently fugitives.
Mr. Bharara praised the investigative work of the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Interstate Robbery Apprehension Team and the New York City Police Department. He also thanked the police departments of Cranford, New Jersey, Atlantic City, New Jersey Richmond, Virginia, and New Canaan, Connecticut, and the Manhattan and Brooklyn District Attorneys’ Offices, and the Union County, New Jersey, Prosecutor’s Office, for their assistance in the investigation, which he noted is ongoing.
The case is being prosecuted by the Office’s General Crimes Unit. Assistant United States Attorneys Andrea M. Griswold and Richard Cooper are in charge of the prosecution.