CLEVELAND – A Cleveland man was charged today in a 14-count indictment with the armed robbery or attempted armed robbery of 10 retail stores in Cleveland and Shaker Heights over the course of three weeks.
Lawrence Sturdivant, 32, was charged with 10 counts of interference with commerce by robbery; three counts of using, carrying or brandishing a firearm during and in relation to a crime of violence and one count of being a felon in possession of ammunition.
According to court documents, from Dec. 5 to Dec. 26, 2021, the defendant is accused of robbing or attempting to rob nine Walgreens, Family Dollar and CVS stores in Cleveland and a Walgreens in Shaker Heights. In each instance, it is alleged that the defendant would enter the store and use a firearm to threaten, intimidate and coerce the cashiers into giving him money from the register drawers.
During the robberies, the defendant was on parole for an aggravated robbery conviction from 2014. As a felon, the defendant is prohibited from possessing a firearm and ammunition.
An indictment is only a charge and is not evidence of guilt. The defendant is entitled to a fair trial in which it will be the government’s burden to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.
If convicted, the defendant’s sentence will be determined by the court after a review of factors unique to this case, including the defendant’s prior criminal record, if any, the defendant’s role in the offenses and the characteristics of the violation. In all cases, the sentence will not exceed the statutory maximum; in most cases, it will be less than the maximum.
The investigation preceding the indictment was conducted by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), Cleveland Division of Police and the Shaker Heights Police Department. This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Adam J. Joines.