May 28, 2015
Three Philadelphia men were indicted Thursday for robbing Verizon Wireless stores of cell phones valued at nearly $80,000.
Darryl Alston, 39, Rynell Bennett, 34, and Chamir Isaiah Lewis, 21, were charged with committing Hobbs Act robbery, U.S. Attorney Zane David Memeger announced. The trio allegedly stole the phones with the intent of reselling them and splitting the proceeds.
The three men allegedly used a firearm and BB handgun to terrorize owners and employees, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office. To prevent the victims from interfering with the robberies, they allegedly tied their hands with duct tape and rope.
To conceal their identities, the group allegedly entered the stores wearing an assortment of dark clothing, gloves, scarves, ski masks, baseball hats and hooded sweatshirts.
Alston is charged for carrying out five robberies — two in Philadelphia and three others in Deptford Township, New Jersey; Plymouth Meeting, Montgomery County; and Haverford Township, Delaware County.
Lewis is charged in three robberies carried out in Philadelphia, Haverford and Deptford. Bennett is charged with the robbery in Plymouth Meeting.
Both Alston and Bennett also are charged with felony possession of a firearm and using and carrying a firearm during a crime of violence.
If convicted, advisory sentencing suggests a prison sentences ranging from 188 to 235 months for Alston, 360 months to life imprisonment for Bennett, and 151 to 188 months for Lewis. Alson and Bennett each face seven year minimum sentences, if convicted.
The FBI investigated the case with assistance from the police departments in Philadelphia, Plymouth Meeting, Haverford and Deptford. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Jose Arteaga.