A federal jury convicted Charles Eloys Johnson, 35, of San Leandro, Calif., on Tuesday of participating in the armed robberies of two South Carolina jewelery stores in 2015, acting U.S. Attorney Beth Drake said Tuesday in a news release.
Johnson and others drove from Atlanta to Columbia on Feb. 19, 2015, to rob Sylvan Jewelers on Main Street.
During the brazen late-morning robbery, an armed robber threatened store employees with a gun while a second man took expensive watches from a display case, Columbia police said at the time. One or more people were waiting in the getaway car, police said. No one was injured.
Less than two weeks later, on March 4, Johnson participated in the armed robbery of MP Demetre Jewelers in Charleston, where police said at the time close to a million dollars worth of jewelry was stolen.
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The case was prosecuted by federal instead of state authorities because those involved drove across a state line to commit the crimes. Johnson was convicted on five counts, including conspiracy, armed robbery and brandishing a firearm during a violent crime.
Two others charged, Aquabeus Moore, 34, of Riverdale, Ga., and Jerry Harbin, 29, of Antioch, Calif., are awaiting trial.