U.S. Department of Justice
United States Attorney
Southern District of Florida
99 NE 4 Street
Miami, Florida 33132
For Immediate Release
May 21, 2009
R. Alexander Acosta, United States Attorney
Four Arrested and Charged in Connection With December 1, 2008 Dadeland Mall Robbery and Homicide
R. Alexander Acosta, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Florida, Hugo Barrera, Special Agent in Charge, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, Robert L. Parker, Director, Miami-Dade Police Department, Amos Rojas, Jr., Special Agent in Charge, Florida Department of Law Enforcement, and Christina Pharo, United States Marshal, announced the arrest and filing of two federal criminal charges against four individuals for their participation in the December 1, 2008, armed robbery and murder of a Dunbar security guard at Dadeland Mall, in Kendall. The defendants made their initial appearance in court this afternoon before U.S. Magistrate Ted E. Bandstra. A detention hearing is scheduled for Wednesday, May 27, 2009 at 1:30 pm before Judge Bandstra.
On May 20, 2009, defendants Dwight Carter, 23, Emmanuel Maxime, 23, Nikkia Thomas, 21, and Erskaneshia Ritchie, 21, were arrested and charged in a federal complaint. Each defendant is charged with knowingly interfering with interstate commerce by robbery, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 1951(a), and knowingly possessing a firearm in furtherance of crime of violence, and causing the death of another, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Sections 924(c)(1)(A) and 924(j). If convicted, each defendant faces a maximum penalty of twenty years’ confinement for the robbery charge; and up to life imprisonment and possibly death on the firearms violation.
According to the affidavit filed in support of the complaint, in December 2008, the victim, C.A., was employed as a security guard by Dunbar Security Incorporated. As part of his duties, C.A. made daily cash pickups at local businesses, including picking up money and checks from the Limited Too, Express, Bath and Body Works and other stores at Dadeland Mall.
The complaint alleges that on December 1, 2008, at approximately 10:51 a.m., C.A. began his daily pick-up at Dadeland Mall, including at Express. At approximately 11:16 a.m., as C.A. was walking towards the street exit, two males confronted C.A. Dwight Carter shot approximately fourteen 9mm rounds at C.A., striking him four times. According to surveillance video, Emmanuel Maxime was also armed. After shooting C.A., Carter grabbed the money bags, which contained approximately $63,650.47 in cash and checks. Both assailants ran out of the store, into the common area, and then escaped out of the mall through a side exit. C.A. died as a result of his injuries.
The complaint alleges that defendants Erskaneshia Ritchie and Nikkia Thomas agreed to help defendants Maxime and Carter commit the robbery and were instrumental in helping them surveill the scene prior to the robbery and to escape after the robbery. Thomas and Ritchie are alleged to have knowingly assisted in the commission of the robbery. For example, Thomas allegedly lent her car to Erskaneshia Ritchie and Dwight Carter, knowing that it would be used for an armored car robbery. In addition, Ritchie and Thomas allegedly acted as look-outs on the day of the crime, alerting Carter and Maxime to the arrival of the armored car.
U.S. Attorney Acosta stated,
The loss of any human life is tragic. But the deliberate and violent murder of an innocent person during a robbery shows a callous disregard for the value of human life. Thanks to the hard work of our law enforcement partners, we have been able to identify and charge those responsible for this heinous crime.
Director Robert Parker of the Miami-Dade Police Department stated,
The apprehension of these violent offenders is attributed to the strong working relationship amongst law enforcement agencies and their unified commitment to public safety.
Right now, our main priority is to bring closure to the family and also take violent criminals off of the streets, said Special Agent in Charge Amos Rojas, Jr., with the Florida Department of Law Enforcement’s Miami Regional Operations Center.
ATF Special Agent in Charge Hugo Barrera, stated
Based on the hard work and dedication of the South Florida law enforcement community, these violent criminals were apprehended and will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.
Christina Pharo, U.S. Marshal for the Southern District of Florida, stated,
This is another great example of how federal, state and local law enforcement can work together to apprehend violent criminals and help make our community safer.
These arrests are the culmination of a six-month investigation by Miami Dade Police Department, the Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco & Firearms, Florida Department of Law Enforcement, and U.S. Marshals. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Tony Lacosta and Scott Edenfield.
A copy of this press release may be found on the website of the United States Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Florida at http://www.usdoj.gov/usao/fls. Related court documents and information may be found on the website of the District Court for the Southern District of Florida at http://www.flsd.uscourts.gov or on http://pacer.flsd.uscourts.gov.