A federal jury in Charlotte, NC returned a guilty verdict on July 8, 2021 against Ron Garland, 38, for his role in a string of armed robberies and attempted armed robberies, and related firearms offenses. Chan Tate also played a role in the robberies and plead guilty to aiding and abetting three counts of Hobbs Act or attempted Hobbs Act Robbery.
Prosecutors say that on August 19, 2019 Ron robbed a Zaxby’s fast food restaurant at gunpoint in Charlotte, NC. Ron entered the restaurant while brandishing a black semiautomatic pistol at the employees.
Ron ordered an employee to open the cash register and took approximately $1,000 in cash. Garland subsequently fled the scene with Chan.
According to trial evidence, on September 21, 2019, Ron robbed a Family Dollar store located at 4130 Rozzelles Ferry Road in Charlotte.
Ron entered the store and brandished a handgun at a store employee. Ron then forced the employee to open the register and Ron stole more than $1,000 before fleeing.
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Ron also attempted to rob two other Charlotte area businesses. On August 21, 2019, Ron attempted to rob an Arby’s fast food restaurant, located at 2501 Little Rock Road.
Ron entered the restaurant, pointed a handgun at the employees and demanded money from the cash register. Ron was unable to open the register but took an employee’s cell phone before fleeing the scene with Chan.
On February 11, 2020, Ron also attempted to rob a Jack-in-the-Box restaurant, located on North Tryon Street in Charlotte. Ron pointed a firearm at an employee who was taking out the trash and attempted to enter the restaurant, first through the back door and then through the front door but was ultimately unsuccessful.
Ron stole a wallet from a customer in the parking lot after eventually abandoning the attempted robbery. Ron fled the scene with Chan and was apprehended early the next morning by the FBI and Charlotte police.
The jury convicted Ron of two counts of robbery of a business affecting interstate commerce, or “Hobbs Act” Robbery, and two counts of attempted Hobbs Act Robbery, for which the maximum prison term is 20 years per count; two counts of possession of a firearm during and in relation to a crime of violence, which carry a maximum penalty of life in prison, per count; and one count of felon in possession of a firearm which carries a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison.
A sentencing date has not been set yet.