Feds indict 11 from Durham in robbery spree targeting minority business owners

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Federal indictments have been issued for 11 people from Durham in connection with a robbery spree targeting minority-owned businesses.

Matthew G.T. Martin, U.S. attorney for the Middle District of North Carolina, announced the indictments May 3.

Investigators say those indicted conspired to commit robberies that happened from October 2015 through January 2016, according to a news release. They are:

Savian Jacoby Turrentine, 26, Durham

Deion Tyrell Liles, 23, Durham

Ervin Montez Alston, 26, Durham

Jermauciyae Rysuan Abram, 21, Durham

Kevin Jamie Jenavous Malone, 24, Durham

Terrell Lee McLamb, 26, Durham

Howard Freeman Earl Jr., 24, Durham

Markey Antonio Goldston, 29, Durham

Barry Dion Holt, 26, Durham

Joshua Quinton Jones, 23, Durham

Anthony Latario James, 23, Durham

Investigators accuse them of targeting the homes of Middle-Eastern and Asian business owners in Durham and Hillsborough whose shops are in Durham, Orange and Guilford counties, the release says.

They conspired to commit a Hobbs Act Robbery, which is a robbery by means of actual or threatened force, violence, and fear, the release says.

The maximum sentence for this charge is 20 years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000. Defendants convicted of brandishing a firearm face a minimum sentence of seven years in prison.

Goldston faces a separate two-count indictment on charges of possession with intent to distribute cocaine base and possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime, the release says. If convicted of the drug charge, he faces a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison, a fine of up to $1 million, or both, the release says. If convicted of the firearm charge, he faces a minimum sentence of five years in prison, a fine of up to $250,000, or both.

“These organized criminals systematically terrorized and preyed upon minority business owners and their families,” Martin said. “The United States Attorney’s Office is committed to reducing violent crime and protecting the people of the Middle District by identifying and prosecuting violent offenders like these.”

Durham Police announced that Maurice Owen Wiley was arrested on murder and related charges for the killing of Hong Zheng during a press conference held Friday, April 27, 2018. . Zheng was killed on April 15.

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Joe Johnson is a reporter covering breaking stories for The News & Observer. He most recently covered towns in western Wake County and Chatham County. Before that, he covered high school sports for The Herald-Sun.