For Immediate Release
New Orleans Man Pleads Guilty For Armed Robbery Spree
NEW ORLEANS – U.S. Attorney Peter G. Strasser announced that JAMES RAIFORD, age 26, of New Orleans, pleaded guilty on Tuesday, August 20, 2019 to five counts of violating the Hobbs Act by committing and attempting to commit robberies of local New Orleans businesses. RAIFORD also pleaded guilty to two counts of possessing a firearm in furtherance of a crime of violence.
Agents with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives and the New Orleans Police Department conducted an investigation into armed robberies occurring at various businesses located in New Orleans, Louisiana during April of 2018. On April 17, 2018, RAIFORD robbed the Boost Mobile cellular telephone store located at 7058 Read Boulevard, while in possession of a firearm. On April 19, 2018, RAIFORD robbed the Boost Mobile cellular telephone store located at 5741 Crowder Boulevard, while in possession of a firearm. On April 19, 2018, RAIFORD robbed the Dollar General store located at 11020 Morrison Road, while in possession of a firearm. On April 24, 2018, RAIFORD robbed the Kwik Pik gas station and convenience store located at 10040 Morrison Road, while in possession of a firearm. The last robbery occurred on April 25, 2018, at the Boost Mobile cellular telephone store located at 2277 St. Claude Avenue. RAIFORD was in possession of a firearm during the robbery.
NOPD detectives identified RAIFORD from surveillance camera footage recovered from the stores. A search of RAIFORD’s cellular telephone showed that RAIFORD researched the robberies after he committed them.
The Honorable Wendy B. Vitter, United States Judge of the Eastern District of Louisiana, will sentence RAIFORD on November 12, 2019. For violating the Hobbs Act, RAIFORD faces a maximum penalty of 20 years, a fine up to $250,000.00, at least 3 years of supervised release, and a mandatory special assessment of $100.00. As it relates to possession of firearm during and in relation to a crime of violence, RAIFORD faces a mandatory minimum sentence of 120 months, to run consecutive to the sentence that the court will impose for violating the Hobbs Act, a fine up to $250,000.00., a period of supervised release up to 5 years, and a mandatory special assessment of $100.00.
This case was brought as part of Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), a program that has been historically successful in bringing together all levels of law enforcement to reduce violent crime and make our neighborhoods safe for everyone. Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN) is the centerpiece of the Department of Justice’s violent crime reduction efforts. PSN is an evidence-based program proven to be effective at reducing violent crime. Through PSN, a broad spectrum of stakeholders work together to identify the most pressing violent crime problems in the community and develop comprehensive solutions to address them. As part of this strategy, PSN focuses enforcement efforts on the most violent offenders and partners with locally based prevention and reentry programs for lasting reductions in crime.