Six Charged with Conspiring to Rob Credit Union in Kroger Grocery Store
|U.S. Attorney’s Office September 19, 2011|
HOUSTON—Six men have been charged with conspiracy to commit a robbery of the Associated Credit Union, member FDIC, located inside a Kroger’s Grocery Store on El Camino Real Road in Houston, United States Attorney José Angel Moreno announced today.
Marcus Rosemond Tarpley, 30, Derrick Williams, 26, Anthony Nowlin, 22, Reginald Mosley, 35, Shelton McGowen, 23, and Hakim Ibn Ahmad, 29, were arrested on Sept. 16, 2011, by members of the Houston Violent Crime Task Force—comprised of agents and officers of the FBI, Houston Police Department (HPD), and the Harris County Sheriff’s Department—as they were leaving the bank in separate vehicles.
A criminal complaint charging all six defendants with conspiracy to commit bank robbery was filed late Friday afternoon. According to allegations in the criminal complaint, the FBI Houston Violent Crime Task Force has been investigating a series of armed robberies committed over the past year of banking institutions located in Houston area grocery stores. The unidentified subjects involved in the robberies wore dark clothing, gloves, material over their faces, and were armed with automatic rifles, shotguns, or pistols. In each instance, the getaway car used by the unidentified robbers was manufactured by Dodge and had been reported stolen. The stolen vehicle was quickly abandoned by the robbers for yet another vehicle to complete the getaway.
On Sept. 15, 2011, acting on information received about a suspicious Dodge Intrepid at an apartment complex from which two men dressed in hooded sweatshirts had been seen, members of the task force initiated surveillance at the complex. The Intrepid had been reported stolen. Investigators watched as a black Nissan Altima, a black Infiniti and a black BMW station wagon arrived at the apartment complex on the morning of Sept. 16, 2011. All three vehicles parked near the Intrepid. Several black males were seen getting out of the three cars and entering the stolen Intrepid. All four vehicles then left the complex. Surveillance followed. The Intrepid drove to a parking lot approximately 150 yards from the Kroger Grocery Store on El Camino Real Road within which a credit union is located. The other three cars drove to various parking lots within a one block radius of the store and remained stationary for a short period of time. The drivers never exited the cars. At approximately 9:00 a.m., agents saw one male, later identified as McGowen, enter the Kroger grocery store. According to the complaint, McGowen made no purchases and loitered in the credit union area, then returned to a car. Thirty minutes later, all four of the vehicles returned to the apartment complex. The Intrepid was left at the complex. The male occupants of the stolen car joined the occupants of the Altima, Infiniti, and BMW and left the complex.
Traffic stops were made by HPD officers of two of the three vehicles. McGowen and Ahmad occupied the BMW. Officers saw black gloves, a black hooded sweatshirt, a black shirt, and a black do-rag in the car. The Altima, occupied by Tarpley, Nowlin, Mosley, and Williams, contained black gloves, a black hooded sweatshirt, and a police scanner that was on and operational.
All six men are expected to make their initial appearance before U.S. Magistrate Judge George C. Hanks at 2:00 p.m. today. The United States will seek an order to temporarily detain all six men pending a hearing on its motion to continue their detention without bond pending further criminal proceedings. A conviction for conspiracy to commit bank robbery carries a maximum five-year-term of imprisonment and a $250,000 fine.
Assistant United States Attorney Suzanne Elmilady and Kebharu Smith are prosecuting the case.
A complaint is an accusation of criminal conduct, not evidence.
A defendant is presumed innocent unless and until convicted through due process of law.