GREENVILLE — Four Raleigh men pleaded guilty Monday to a federal firearms charge stemming from a string of robberies from North Raleigh businesses.
Ahmad Banks, Daryl Mpongo, Ronnie Rand and Joshua Wagner were arrested by Raleigh police in August. Banks, Rand and Wagner also pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit robbery, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office.
Raleigh Police Chief Harry Dolan said in an interview last month that his department is working with federal prosecutors to charge as many suspects as possible with federal offenses to get stronger sentences. Robberies in Raleigh reached 1,000 last year for the first time.
The four men, all in their early 20s, pleaded guilty to "aiding and abetting the use of a firearm in furtherance of a crime of violence."
Banks, Rand and Wagner pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit "Hobbs Act" robbery.
The Hobbs Act was created to fight racketeering, and applies to robbery or extortion that affects interstate or foreign commerce.
According to the news release, Rand and Banks robbed a gas station on Pleasant Valley Road in July. With Rand acting as a lookout, Banks wielded a hammer and demanded that the clerk open the register. The four men also robbed a McDonald's on Six Forks Road in August and made off with $2,600.
They are scheduled to be sentenced April 6, and could face up to life in prison for the firearms charge.