For Immediate Release
Man Sentenced to over 60 Years in Prison for Robbery, Firearm Offenses
St. Thomas, USVI – District Court Judge Curtis V. Gomez today sentenced Richard Antonio Hodge, Jr., 30, of St. Thomas, to over 60 years in prison for Hobbs Act robbery, discharge of a firearm during the commission of a crime of violence, and related offenses, announced United States Attorney Ronald W. Sharpe.
Judge Gomez also sentenced Hodge to four years of supervised release, and ordered him to pay $300 in special assessments.
“Justice has been done,” U.S. Attorney Sharpe said. “This violent and brazen criminal conduct has no place in a civilized society and will not be tolerated.”
On June 11, 2014, after a three-day jury trial, Hodge was convicted of the armed robbery and shooting of a Ranger American Armored Service messenger and his supervisor on December 3, 2013 in the Lockhart Gardens Shopping Center. Hodge was convicted of the following offenses:
- Interfering with commerce by robbery (federal Hobbs Act robbery), for which he was sentenced to 70 months;
- Two counts of discharge of a firearm during the commission of a crime of violence, for which he was sentenced to a total of 35 years;
- Three counts of unauthorized possession of a firearm during the commission of a crime of violence, for which he was sentenced to a total of 15 years.
- Two counts of assault with intent to commit murder, for which he was sentenced to a total of five years;
- Robbery first degree, for which he was sentenced to five years, and
- Reckless endangerment, for which he was sentenced to five years.
The Court ordered Hodge to serve the sentences for the two counts of assault, robbery first degree and reckless endangerment concurrently.
According to the evidence presented at trial, on December 3, 2013, a messenger for Ranger American Armored Service went to Kmart at Lockhart Gardens Shopping Center to deliver and retrieve U.S. currency for deposit at a bank. The messenger entered Kmart, delivered coins, and picked up $33,550 to take to the bank. While in Kmart, the messenger also picked up $4,700 from the AT&T kiosk. After leaving the store, the messenger stopped to talk to his supervisor, who was standing a short distance from the entrance. Hodge ran up to the messenger, shot him in the back, hip and wrist, and ripped the money bag from his hands. Hodge then ran through the parking lot and into the Oswald Harris Court housing community where he was chased by an off-duty Virgin Islands police officer and the messenger’s supervisor. Hodge was apprehended approximately 45 minutes later hiding in dense brush behind Oswald Harris Court. The messenger and supervisor were taken to the Roy Lester Schneider Hospital where both were treated for gunshot wounds. Both men recovered from their injuries. The stolen money and firearm used in the crimes were never recovered.
U.S. Attorney Sharpe commended the work of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), the Virgin Islands Police Department and the Federal Bureau of Investigations for their outstanding work in this case. He also commended Assistant U.S. Attorney Nelson L. Jones, who prosecuted the case, and the off-duty police officer who chased the defendant into Oswald Harris Court after witnessing the robbery and shooting.