For Immediate Release
Thursday, June 7, 2018
, United States Attorney
Justin E. Herdman
Contact: Mike Tobin
Two Cleveland men indicted for using firearms to rob MetroPCS stores and shoot at off-duty police officer
Field Division: Columbus Field Division
An 11-count indictment was filed in U.S. District Court charging two Cleveland men were for brandishing firearms while robbing four MetroPCS stores and shooting at an off-duty Cleveland police officer.
Shawn Ford, 19, and Charles Rogers, 23, were each charged with conspiracy to commit Hobbs Act robbery and four counts each of Hobbs Act robbery.
Ford was charged with three counts of brandishing or using a firearm during a crime of violence. Rogers was charged with one count of brandishing a firearm during a crime of violence and two counts of aiding or abetting the use or brandishing of a firearm during a crime of violence.
“These are dangerous individuals who used firearms to rob people going about their day, as well as shooting at an off-duty Cleveland police officer,” U.S. Attorney Justin Herdman said. “Cleveland is safer with these two off the streets.”
Ford and Rogers are accused of robbing the MetroPCS store at 10959 Kinsman Road on March 21, at 11100 Lorain Ave. on March 25, at 14701 Kinsman Road on March 27 and at 5853 Broadway Ave., also on March 27.
Ford and Rogers fled from the store on Broadway after taking more than $1,000 from the register. An off-duty Cleveland police officer, who was a customer in the store, followed them out of the store. He identified himself as a police officer and ordered them to stop. One of the suspects began shooting at the officer and 15 spent 9 mm shell casings were recovered nearby, according to court documents.
About 30 minutes later, an officer saw a vehicle that matched the description of the car the suspects got into after shooting at the officer. The car was pulled over with Ford and Rogers inside. Inside the car was a spent 9 mm round, blue latex gloves and clothing that matched clothing worn by suspects in other MetroPCS robberies, according to court documents.
Rogers was wearing an electronic monitoring device with GPS capabilities on March 21, the date of the first MetroPCS robbery. The GPS placed Rogers one-tenth of a mile from the Kinsman Road store a few minutes before the robbery. Sometime later the GPS device was tampered with or taken off Rogers, according to court documents.
These cases are part of Project Safe Neighborhoods, a program bringing together all levels of law enforcement and the communities they serve to reduce violent crime and make our neighborhoods safer for everyone. Attorney General Jeff Sessions reinvigorated PSN in 2017 as part of the Department’s renewed focus on targeting violent criminals, directing all U.S. Attorney’s Offices to work in partnership with federal, state, local, and tribal law enforcement and the local community to develop effective, locally-based strategies to reduce violent crime.
This case was investigated by the Cleveland Division of Police and Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, with assistance from the Ohio Adult Parole Authority and the Cuyahoga County Prosecutor’s Crime Strategies Unit. It is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Kelly L. Galvin.
If convicted, the defendant’s sentence will be determined by the court after review of factors unique to this case, including the defendant’s prior criminal record, if any, the defendant’s role in the offense, and the characteristics of the violation. In all cases, the sentence will not exceed the statutory maximum and in most cases it will be less than the maximum.
An indictment is a charge and is not evidence of guilt. A defendant is entitled to a fair trial, in which it will be the government’s burden to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.