CHARLOTTE, N.C. – Chief U.S. District Judge Martin Reidinger sentenced to prison two men responsible for the armed robberies of two cell phone stores located in Buncombe and Henderson Counties, announced Andrew Murray, U.S. Attorney for the Western District of North Carolina.
Joining U.S. Attorney Murray in making today’s announcement is John A. Strong, Special Agent in Charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Charlotte Division, Sheriff Quentin Miller of the Buncombe County Sheriff’s Office, Sheriff Lowell S. Griffin of the Henderson County Sheriff’s Office, and Chief David Zack of the Asheville Police Department.
Shyleek Vyshonne Davidson, 21, of Hendersonville, N.C. was sentenced to 120 months in prison and five years of supervised release, and Okoye Unique Porter, 26, of Hendersonville, was sentenced to 151 months in prison and three years of supervised release. The third co-defendant, Kristoff Michael Hunter, 25, of Asheville, will be sentenced at a later date.
According to filed documents and statements made in court, the men robbed at gunpoint two cell phone stores located in Asheville and in neighboring Hendersonville. On May 19, 2019, Hunter and Davidson robbed the AT&T wireless store located at 335 Airport Road in Asheville. Court records show that Hunter and Davidson entered the store with their faces covered, pointed a firearm at an employee and ordered him to lie down while they proceeded to steal approximately $200 in cash from the register and at least 26 Samsung and LG phones from the store cabinets.
The next day, on May 20, 2019, at about 9:30 a.m., law enforcement responded to a robbery call made from the Verizon Wireless store located at 1602 Four Seasons Blvd in Hendersonville. Court records show that all three defendants entered the store, brandished firearms at the store employees, and fled with approximately 157 stolen iPhones valued at $147,986, and $311 in cash. Law enforcement arrested the three men the same day, after locating them through a tracking device one of the store employees had slipped in the robbers’ bag.
Porter, Davidson and Hunter pleaded guilty to robbery of businesses affecting interstate commerce, also known as “Hobbs Act” robbery. Davidson and Hunter also pleaded guilty to carrying and brandishing a firearm during a crime of violence and aiding and abetting.
In making today’s announcement, U.S. Attorney Murray thanked the FBI, the Buncombe County Sheriff’s Office, the Henderson County Sheriff’s Office, and the Asheville Police Department for their investigation of this case.
Assistant U.S. Attorney John Pritchard, of the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Asheville, prosecuted the case.