(From US DOJ) – A federal grand jury in Columbia returned a 15-count indictment against Deveon Antonio Belk, 35, of Lexington, charging felon in possession of a firearm and ammunition, seven counts of Hobbs Act robbery, and seven counts of brandishing a firearm in connection with a crime of violence.
The indictment alleges that between November 9 and November 16, 2020, Belk robbed seven Columbia-area businesses at gunpoint, including Dollar General, Family Dollar, Wendy’s, SKS Mart, and CVS. The indictment alleges that Belk brandished a firearm at each victim business, where he stole money and merchandise. The indictment also charges he was a felon in possession of a firearm and ammunition, and that he possessed a Ruger 9mm pistol and 9mm ammunition in connection with his conduct.
Belk faces a maximum penalty of up to Life in prison. He is currently detained pending his arraignment in federal court in Columbia on August 9, 2022, at 10:00 A.M. before U.S. Magistrate Judge Paige J. Gossett.
This case was prosecuted as part of the joint federal, state, and local Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN) Program, the centerpiece of the Department of Justice’s violent crime reduction efforts. PSN is an evidence-based program proven to be effective at reducing violent crime. Through PSN, a broad spectrum of stakeholders work together to identify the most pressing violent crime problems in the community and develop comprehensive solutions to address them. As part of this strategy, PSN focuses enforcement efforts on the most violent offenders and partners with locally based prevention and reentry programs for lasting reductions in crime.
The case was investigated by the FBI, Richland County Sheriff’s Department, Lexington County Sheriff’s Office, Columbia Police Department, Irmo Police Department, and South Carolina Law Enforcement Division. Assistant U.S. Attorney Elliott B. Daniels is prosecuting the case.
U.S. Attorney Adair F. Boroughs stated that all charges in the indictment are merely accusations and that defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.