Three indicted for string of armed robberies
Three Lowcountry area men have been indicted in connection with some 39 robberies they allegedly committed between July 2009 and March 2011.
United States Attorney Bill Nettles announced that a federal indictment was unsealed against Raynard Montel Eady, 29, of North Charleston, Christopher Donnell Simmons, 33, of Wadmalaw, and Winard Montex Eady, 29, of North Charleston, charging them for their roles in a series of armed robberies that occurred between July, 2009 and March, 2011.
The robberies focused on Asian restaurants, check cashing businesses, and loan businesses, mostly occurring in the tri county area, but ranging as far as Walterboro, Holly Hill and Georgetown.
In Summerville, they robbed several Asian restaurants, including the China Palace IV, then located on U.S. 78 near the Berlin G Myers Parkway, and the Pan Super Buffet, located across town on Dorchester Road, according to Capt. Jon Rogers of the Summerville Police Department.
“They hit several restaurants all over town,” SPD Capt. Jon Rogers noted. “The people were just terrified.”
According to a statement released by U.S. Attorney Bill Nettles, the indictment alleges that the three conspired to commit robbery affecting interstate commerce, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1951. In addition, all three are charged with using handguns in furtherance of the robberies, contrary to 18 U.S.C. §924(c). The conspiracy carries a maximum sentence of 20 years imprisonment. The firearm counts carry a mandatory five years imprisonment for a first offense, and any subsequent offense carries a mandatory, consecutive, 25 years imprisonment.
Raynard Eady and Christopher Simmons were arrested as a part of a multi-agency investigation in February 2011 and charged with state offenses, including armed robbery, that are included as part of the federal indictment unsealed today. Both have remained in custody since that arrest, according to the release.
Winard Eady was arrested on May 18, 2012, according to the release.
All three were arraigned in federal court May 22, 2012, when the indictments against them were unsealed. Simmons was ordered detained after waiving a bond hearing. W. Eady and R. Eady will have bond hearings later this week.
The indictments are the result of a joint investigation involving the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division, Charleston Police Department, North Charleston Police Department, Berkeley County Sheriff’s Office, Moncks Corner Police Department, Georgetown Police Department, Goose Creek Police Department, Dorchester County Sheriff’s Office, Summerville Police Department, Folly Beach Department of Public Safety, Charleston County Sheriff’s Office, Walterboro Department of Public Safety, Andrews Police Department, Holly Hill Police Department, Beaufort County Sheriff’s Office, and Mount Pleasant Police Department. Assistant United States Attorney Nathan Williams of the Charleston office is prosecuting the case.
The United States Attorney asserts that all charges in these indictments are merely accusations and that all defendants are presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.