June 02, 2016
The United States Attorney's Office has added more than a dozen charges – including two counts of kidnapping and armed robbery as well as six additional firearms charges – against 20 people charged in a two-year crime wave.
The defendants allegedly broke into the homes of people they believed to be drug dealers in search of money and drugs.
The new charges, announced Thursday by U.S. Attorney Zane David Memeger and Special Agent-in-Charge Sam Rabadi of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives, come in a case involving a violent robbery conspiracy that allegedly included armed robbery, kidnapping, carjacking, and drug trafficking.
Originally 16 people were charged – in May 2015 – for their suspected roles in the crimes, but on Thursday prosecutors announced for more defendants: Sei Stone, 42, Edwin Robinson, 42, Louis Miller, 38, James Haines, 25, all of Philadelphia.
They join the original defendants – Khalil Smith, Mark Woods, Terrace Munden, Robert Hartley, Hasan Chaney, Levern Jackson, Braheim Ballard, William Jefferson, Romel Anthony, Brandon Segers, Michael Queen, Jeffrey Bellamy, Eric Scott, Daniel Hayes, Marcus Bowens, all of Philadelphia, and Jamal Doggett, of Willingboro, Burlington County.
According to prosecutors, these suspects are believed to have been involved in 28 separate incidents in Philadelphia, Ambler, Hatfield, Cherry Hill, and elsewhere, where they "allegedly conspired in a scheme to commit armed robberies dressed in disguises that included police uniforms, badges, bulletproof vests, masks, gloves, and wigs."
The string of crimes occurred between September 2012 and April 2014 when the group allegedly targeted victims they believed had money or drugs.
According the document released Thursday, the defendants tracked their victims with GPS devices in order to commit violent home invasion robberies or attempted robberies. One victim was shot, while others were waterboarded and had boiling water poured on them, prosecutors said.
Law enforcement officials alleged that in at least one incident, a defendant led co-conspirators into a home by playing the role of a robbery victim at a party that was being robbed.
The new charges stem from alleged incidents on October 18-19, 2013, when defendants Mark Woods, Terrance Munden, Hasan Chaney, Robert Hartley, and Louis Miller, allegedly went to the 3000 block of Master Street to find a drug dealer that Woods had been following.
According to the U.S. Attorney's Office, the men allegedly wore police paraphernalia and identified themselves as officers when they assaulted and restrained the victim before covering his head and taking him from the area against his will.
The assailants forced the man to call a second victim so the defendants could gain access to that victim’s apartment, the indictment claims.
They then went to the victim's home where the defendants held a second victim, along with his girlfriend and a child, at gunpoint before taking cocaine, cash and other items, said prosecutors.
Added to the existing indictment against the defendants was an incident law enforcement officials said occurred on March 19, 2014, when Khalil Smith, Mark Woods, Terrance Munden, Robert Hartley, Hasan Chaney, Levern Jackson, and others allegedly assaulted, restrained and kidnapped a victim.
According to the indictment released Thursday, the victim was forced to strip while they threatened and assaulted him, to the point of pouring boiling water on the victim while demanding to know the location of his drugs and drug money.
The defendants forced the victim to call a family member and instruct that person where to get $50,000 in ransom money to pay for his release, the U.S. Attorney's Office said.
After Khalil Smith retrieved the ransom money from the drop-off point, the victim was released, the indictment notes.
If convicted of all charges, each defendant is facing a statutory maximum sentence of life in prison with mandatory minimum terms of imprisonment.
A trial date has yet to be listed.