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Local men sentenced on federal robbery, firearms charges

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BY COREY DAVIS
Staff Writer

Thursday, May 17, 2018

Two Edgecombe County men were recently sentenced in connection to Hobbs Act robberies and possession of firearms by a felon stemming from incidents that occurred in November 2016.

Robert J. Higdon Jr., U.S. attorney for the Eastern District of North Carolina, said Senior U.S. Judge Malcolm J. Howard sentenced James Leroy Everette, 23, of Taroro to 134 months in prison followed by three years of supervised release. 

Bobby Ray Worthington, 25, of Pinetops  was sentenced to 120 months in prison followed by three years of supervised release. According to a statement from court, Everette and Worthington were named in a six-count indictment on Oct. 3, 2017.

On Jan. 11, Everette pled guilty to three counts of Hobbs Act robbery and aiding and abetting and one count of brandishing a firearm in furtherance of a crime of violence and aiding and abetting, while Worthington pled guility to two counts of Hobbs Act robbery and aiding and abetting; one count of brandishing a firearm in furtherance of a crime of violence and aiding and abetting and one count of felon in possession of a firearm.

On Nov. 18, 2016, Everette and Worthington entered the Speedway gas station wearing ski masks and demanded money from the clerk. The men stole $310 from the register and $10 worth of cigarettes. During the robbery, Worthington pointed a firearm at the clerk, while Everette stole the money from the register. 

On Nov. 19, 2016, Everette and Worthington entered the Community Store wearing ski masks and robbed the store of $1,500. During the robbery, Worthington used a firearm by pointing it at the clerks, while Everette grabbed the money from the register. 

On Nov. 21, 2016, Everette and Darricus Diquel Suggs, who was previously sentenced to 97 months in prison on April 17, entered the Speedway gas station wearing gloves and concealing their faces with shirts and ski masks. Everette immediately leapt over the counter and instructed the clerk to open the cash register, at which time he grabbed the cash out of the register. The suspects fled the scene with $382, which they divided among themselves.

On Nov. 22, 2016, Everette was arrested by Greenville police following a high-speed chase after his vehicle was recognized as the suspect vehicle in several commercial robberies. Everette also admitted to participating in the burglary of Perry’s Gun Shop in Wendell in order to acquire firearms for future robberies. Everette and Suggs stole a total of nine firearms from the gun shop.

Also on Nov. 22, 2016, Worthington was arrested driving a vehicle that contained a Ruger pistol and 1.5 grams of marijuana. The case is part of Project Neighborhoods, a program bringing together all levels of law enforcement and the communities they serve to reduce violent crime and make neighborhoods safer for everyone.

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco Firearms and Explosives, the Rocky Mount Police Department, the Greenville Police Department and the Wendell Police Department conducted the criminal investigation of this case. Assistant U.S. Attorney James J. Kurosad handled the prosecution of the case.

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