Seven indicted in string of cell phone store robberies - FOX13 News, WHBQ FOX 13

Seven indicted in string of cell phone store robberies

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Lavell Hughes, Andre Wadlington-Anthony and Tony Johnson. (Photo courtesy of the Deerfield police) Lavell Hughes, Andre Wadlington-Anthony and Tony Johnson. (Photo courtesy of the Deerfield police)
CHICAGO (Sun-Times Media Wire) -

Seven men face federal charges for a string of at least six armed robberies of cell phone stores in Illinois and Indiana, prosecutors announced Friday.

Eric Rogers, 39, of Hazel Crest; and Eric Curtis, 29 of Park Forest directed six other men in the series of robberies that took place between January and December 2013, according to a statement from the U.S. Attorney's office.

Rogers and Curtis would select stores to rob, then recruit other men and supply them with guns, prosecutors said. They would then commit the robberies with different combinations of the others.

In 2013, the men allegedly robbed cell phone stores in Addison, Norridge, Deerfield, Woodridge, Laporte, Ind.; and East Peoria.

Rogers and Curtis were arrested in December after the Woodridge robbery, and each charged with one count of robbery conspiracy, three counts of robbery, and two counts of brandishing a firearm. Curtis was also charged as a felon in possession of a firearm, according to prosecutors.

Also charged with taking part in one or more robberies were Chicago residents Marcus Harris, 20, and Daniel Wright, 28, charged with one count each of felony robbery and brandishing a firearm. Lavell Hughes, 41, of Gary, Ind.; Tony Johnson, 20, of Harvey; and Andre Wadlington-Anthony, 27, also of Harvey, were charged with two counts each of each of those crimes.

An eighth suspect, Ryan Rogers, the deceased cousin of Eric Rogers, took part in the string of robberies, but was shot and killed by a Chicago Police officer after the March 19, 2013 robbery in Norridge, according to prosecutors.

In that case, the seven men met at Ryan Rogers' apartment, then traveled in two cars to the AT&T store at 4155 N. Harlem in Norridge, the FBI said at the time. They robbed the store at gunpoint, getting away with about 100 phones and tablets valued at about $54,000.

After the robbery, Chicago Police went to the home in Hazel Crest, believing Ryan Rogers and Eric Rogers were involved in the heist. Ryan Rogers was shot and killed after accelerating a vehicle towards an officer who was trying to stop him, the FBI said.

If convicted, each count of robbery carries up to 20 years in prison , while brandishing a firearm carries a maximum of life in prison.

Arraignment dates have not yet been set.

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