CLEVELAND - Three men were sentenced to prison this week for their roles an armed robberies of five electronics stores in northeast Ohio.
In all, 500 cellphones/smartphones were taken, valued at nearly $190,000, said Steven Dettelbach, U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Ohio.
Curtis Bobbitt, 45, of Maple Heights, was sentenced to more than 19 years in prison. He was previously found guilty of conspiracy, showing a gun while committing a felony and being a felon in possession of a firearm.
Marlon Portis Jr., 23, of Cleveland, was sentenced to 15 ½ years in prison and Demonte Thompson, 23, of Maple Heights, got 15 years after being convicted of conspiracy and showing a firearm while committing a felony.
The three men were collectively ordered to pay $188,126 in restitution.
A fourth man, Miguel McGhee, was sentenced earlier this month to 20 years in prison and ordered to pay $44,119 in restitution. Jurors previously convicted him of robbery and conspiracy to commit robberies.
“This group barged into stores with guns, tied up workers and stole thousands of dollars worth of smart phones,” Dettelbach said. “Our office will continue to use every available tool to target firearms crimes and gun violence.”
“This case highlights cooperative efforts amongst law enforcement entities to ensure that violent offenders are held accountable for their actions,” Robin Shoemaker, Special Agent in Charge of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives’ Columbus office, said. “ATF will continue to work with our law enforcement partners to pursue those individuals who disrupt and endanger the lives of innocent people.”
Thompson, Bobbitt, Ports and McGee robbed several electronics stores between December 2010 and October 2011, according to court documents.
While pointing a gun, the men restrained employees with duct tape and stole high end cellphones and smartphones.
Bobbitt, and in one robbery McGhee, provided vehicles and transportation to and from the robberies and then took the stolen phones. Bobbitt and the others then contacted people who would buy them, negotiated a price and distributed the monies from the sale of the stolen phones.
The stores robbed are as follows:
Radio Shack, 5369 Warrensville Center Road, Maple Heights, on Dec. 3, 2010. Thompson and Portis stole 97 cellphones valued at $23,515.
Radio Shack, 5672 Transportation Blvd., Garfield Heights, on Jan. 6, 2011. Thompson and Portis stole 77 cellphones valued at $20,604.
Radio Shack, 10740 Lorain Road, Cleveland, on Sept. 20, 2011. Thompson and Portis stole 89 cellphones valued at $34,539.
Radio Shack, 22318 Lakeshore Blvd., Euclid, on Oct. 1, 2011. Thompson and Portis stole 110 cellphones valued at $56,058.
T-Mobile, 663 East Aurora Road, Macedonia on Oct. 15, 2011. Thompson and Portis stole 114 cellphones valued at $53,408.
They also attempted to rob the Maple Heights store a second time on Sept. 19, 2011, but that attempt failed, according to court documents.
This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Kelly Galvin and Chelsea Rice following an investigation by the ATF, with assistance from the Macedonia, Maple Heights and Garfield Heights police departments.
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