RIVERSIDE, California – A federal grand jury today returned a 13-count indictment today against two men and a woman from Moreno Valley who allegedly committed at least eight armed robberies at AutoZone stores in the Inland Empire and made off with more than $11,000 in cash.
Daeon Raishawn Cox, 20; Dashon Raymond White, 24; and Jada Shardae Allen, 18, were charged with conspiracy to interfere with commerce by robbery. Cox and White are in local custody and are expected to be turned over to federal law enforcement officials on Monday. Allen, who was turned over to federal authorities on February 25 pursuant to a criminal complaint previously filed in this case, was freed on a $40,000 bond, and her arraignment is scheduled for March 13.
According to the indictment, over the course of three months late last year, Cox – who was alternately aided by White, Allen and an unindicted juvenile – robbed AutoZone stores in Riverside, San Bernardino, Grand Terrace, Redlands, Hemet and Fontana. Typically, the robbers entered the AutoZone stores at night, wearing black hoodies, black pants, gloves and with their faces covered by bandanas, according to the affidavit in support of the criminal complaint. The robbers allegedly pointed guns at AutoZone employees and forced them to hand over money from the cash register or from the store safe. The robberies netted the defendants around $1,000 per incident, the affidavit states.
The defendants were caught after an attempted robbery on December 12 was interrupted by Fontana police, who had been conducting surveillance at an AutoZone store in that city. A Fontana police officer witnessed Cox and White exit White's gray Saturn SUV while Allen was seated in the back of the vehicle, according to the affidavit. Cox and White allegedly approached the AutoZone wearing black hooded sweatshirts and masks on their faces, while Cox carried an AR-15-type rifle and handed it to White. After the police officer identified himself, the defendants fled the scene, driving away in White's SUV at a high rate of speed, court papers state. During the pursuit, the rifle was thrown from the SUV's front passenger window onto the I-15 and I-210 freeway interchange. The car chase ended when White's SUV crashed in Rancho Cucamonga and the defendants fled on foot. Cox was caught while hiding in a nearby garbage can, while White and Allen were arrested the next day at their residences, the affidavit states. Fontana police later recovered the rifle – which was loaded with eight rounds – from the shoulder of the freeway, court papers said.
In addition to the conspiracy count, Cox was charged with six substantive counts of interfering with commerce by robbery and six counts of using a firearm in furtherance of a violent crime. White also faces two robbery counts and two firearms counts, while Allen also was charged with one count of robbery and one firearm count.
If convicted, each defendants would face a statutory maximum sentence of 20 years in federal prison for each of the robbery-related charges, as well as a mandatory seven-year consecutive sentence for the firearms offenses.