WASHINGTON – Three men, all from Washington, D.C., have been indicted on federal charges stemming from a series of armed robberies and carjackings that took place in Maryland and the District of Columbia over a period of less than two months earlier this year.
Tyrell Jordan Stewart, 24, Joenathan Nelson, 25, and Azriel Echavarria, 20, were indicted on charges of conspiracy to interfere with interstate commerce by robbery, conspiracy to commit carjacking, and various related offenses. The indictment was unsealed today in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia Stewart was arrested today and made his initial court appearance this afternoon. Nelson and Echavarria previously were in custody.
The announcement was made by U.S. Attorney Matthew M. Graves, Christopher Amon, Acting Special Agent in Charge of the Washington Field Division of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), Robert J. Contee III, Chief of the Metropolitan Police Department (MPD), Malik Aziz, Chief of the Prince George’s County, Maryland, Police Department, and Marcus G. Jones, Chief of the Montgomery County, Maryland, Police Department.
According to the indictment, the defendants wore dark clothing and often wore masks or other clothing over their faces while committing the crimes. As alleged in the indictment, they used various vehicles, including stolen vehicles, to facilitate the robberies or flee from scenes. The crimes typically took place in the early morning, between 5 a.m. and 7:30 a.m. In addition to stores, targets included people accosted while in their cars, at work, or on the street.
The indictment includes charges related to crimes from Jan. 19 through March 4, 2022. They include three robberies at convenience stores, 14 robberies of individuals, an armed carjacking, and three car thefts. On Feb. 18, 2022, for example, four armed robberies were carried out within 95 minutes in Northwest and Northeast Washington. On Feb. 20, 2022, two armed robberies took place within 10 minutes at convenience stores in Rockville and Kensington, Maryland. On March 4, 2022, four armed robberies took place within 35 minutes in Northeast and Northwest Washington.
Stewart was indicted on a total of 14 charges, including conspiracy to interfere with interstate commerce by robbery, conspiracy to commit carjacking, six counts of armed robbery, one count of robbery, five counts of interstate transportation of a stolen motor vehicle, and a firearms offense.
Nelson was indicted on a total of 21 charges, including conspiracy to interfere with interstate commerce by robbery, conspiracy to commit carjacking, 11 counts of armed robbery, one count of robbery, six counts of interstate transportation of a stolen motor vehicle, and a firearms offense.
Echavarria was indicted on a total of five charges, including conspiracy to interfere with interstate commerce by robbery, conspiracy to commit carjacking, two counts of armed robbery, and a firearms offense
Nelson has been detained pending other court proceedings in Montgomery County. Echavarria is incarcerated after pleading guilty in the District of Columbia on April 28, 2022, to a charge of carrying a pistol without a license.
An indictment is merely a formal charge that a defendant has committed a violation of criminal law and is not evidence of guilt. Every defendant is presumed innocent until, and unless, proven guilty.
The case is being investigated by the ATF’s Washington Field Division, the Metropolitan Police Department, the Montgomery County, Maryland Police Department and the Prince George’s County, Maryland Police Department.
The case is being prosecuted by Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Brian Lynch and Assistant U.S. Attorney Matthew Kinskey, of the Violence Reduction and Trafficking Offenses Section of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia.