Men indicted in series of robberies

Pharmacy in Xenia among targets

COLUMBUS — A federal grand jury has charged nine southern Ohio men with crimes related to the armed robberies of 11 Ohio pharmacies including one in Xenia.

Benjamin C. Glassman, United States attorney for the Southern District of Ohio, and Roland Herndon, acting special agent in charge, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), announced the charges that were unsealed Feb. 11.

According to the indictment, from April to October 2018, co-conspirators would present demand notes at pharmacies that stated they were completing an armed robbery and they would kill the employees of the pharmacy if the employees did not comply with demands for narcotics listed in the note.

The robberies occurred on:

April 16, at Rite Aid on Linden Avenue in Dayton; April 26, at Rite Aid on McAdams Drive in New Carlisle; May 22, at CVS on Sawmill Road in Columbus; June 2, at CVS on Montgomery Road in Norwood; June 7, at CVS on Montgomery Road in Silverton; July 5, at Rite Aid on North Wolfe Creek Street in Brookville; Aug. 4, at Rite Aid on West National Road in Vandalia; Aug. 8, at Rite Aid on South Allison Avenue in Xenia; Aug. 17, at Rite Aid on Central Avenue in Middletown; Sept. 5, at Rite Aid on Linden Avenue in Dayton; and Oct. 15, at Rite Aid on Union Boulevard in Englewood.

Those charged include: Courtney A. Byrd, 21, Trotwood; Damar L. Kerley, 21, Dayton; James P. Taylor Jr., 19, Dayton; Cameron D. Redd, 21, Cincinnati; Ja’Mical L. Betts, 20, Dayton; Dasean Whitehead, 19, Dayton; Justin J. Jefferson Jr., 19, Dayton; Rodney A. Robbins II, 19, Trotwood; and Philmore B.P. Alexander IV, 19, Dayton.

Defendants are charged with conspiring to commit Hobbs Act Robbery, interfering with interstate commerce by robbery and possessing with the intent to distribute Oxycodone. Each of the three crimes is punishable by up to 20 years in prison.

Glassman commended the cooperative investigation of this case by ATF, the Columbus, Dayton, Norwood, Brookville, Vandalia, Xenia, Middletown and Englewood police departments, Clark County, Montgomery County and Hamilton County sheriff’s offices and the Montgomery County Prosecutor’s Office, as well as Assistant United States Attorneys David J. Bosley and Kelly Norris, who are prosecuting the case.

An indictment merely contains allegations, and the defendant is presumed innocent unless proven guilty in a court of law.

Pharmacy in Xenia among targets