Three Men Plead Guilty To Roles In Staging The Armed Robbery Of A Cash Courier Van

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FILE PHOTO: American flag waves outside the U.S. Department of Justice Building in Washington

          GRAND RAPIDS, MICHIGAN — U.S. Attorney Mark Totten announced today that three men—Paschal Osinachi Uchendu, 27, of Mason, Stephen Ikechuwku Uchendu, 21, of Mason, and Todd Lamonte Harris, Jr., 20, of Grand Rapids—pleaded guilty to their roles in staging the armed robbery of a courier van transporting over $1.2 million in cash.

          “This inside job was a foolish endeavor that earned these young men serious felony charges and federal criminal records,” said U.S. Attorney Mark Totten.  “I commend law enforcement for quickly solving this crime through a thorough and effective investigation.” 

          Paschal Uchendu organized the staged armed robbery of the cash courier van that he was driving on February 15, 2022.  Stephen Uchendu and Todd Harris followed the van in another vehicle and faked a car accident in Okemos.  Todd Harris engaged Paschal Uchendu, who exited the van, while Stephen Uchendu entered the passenger side of the van with an unloaded AR-15 rifle.  Paschal Uchendu drove the van to another location and unlocked the vault for Stephen Uchendu and Todd Harris.  Together, the men stole approximately $1,244,483, including money belonging to an area financial institution.  Stephen Uchendu and Todd Harris each received $25,000 for their role in the staged armed robbery.  When officers subsequently contacted Todd Harris, he and Stephen Uchendu left the State of Michigan and took a portion of their theft proceeds on a trip to Georgia.  Over $700,000 of the stolen money remains outstanding.

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          The three men were charged in a Felony Information on September 21, 2022.  On October 12, 2022, Paschal Uchendu pleaded guilty to bank larceny.  On September 28, 2022 and November 2, 2022, respectively, Stephen Uchendu and Todd Harris pleaded guilty to the interstate transportation of stolen property.  All three men face up to ten years in prison, up to three years of supervised release, and fines in excess of $250,000.  Stephen Uchendu will be sentenced on March 7, 2023.  Paschal Uchendu will be sentenced on March 8, 2023.  Todd Harris is awaiting a sentencing date.

          This case is being investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation with prior assistance from the Meridian Township Police Department.

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