LA man gets 14 years for role in Hawthorne armored-car robbery

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By Yosi Yahoudai
Founder and Managing Partner

A Los Angeles man was sentenced last week to nearly 14 years behind bars for acting as a lookout in the robbery of an armored truck in Hawthorne that netted the culprits more than $160,000 in cash and during which a handgun was fired.

James Russell Davis, 35, of Los Angeles was sentenced on Friday, June 7, by U.S. District Judge Fernando L. Aenlle-Rocha, who also ordered Davis to pay $166,640 in restitution, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

Davis pleaded guilty in February in downtown Los Angeles to one count of interference with commerce by robbery and one count of discharging a firearm in furtherance of a crime of violence. He has been in federal custody since March 2023.

The robberies were linked to a group nicknamed the Chesapeake Bandits because investigators believe the suspects were meeting and staging the heists at a home on Chesapeake Avenue in the West Adams neighborhood of Los Angeles.

The group committed at least four armored car robberies from February 2022 to February 2023, with two in Inglewood, another in South L.A. and one in Hawthorne, according to the FBI.

Davis was charged along with a half-brother, Deneyvous Hobson, 38, of Los Angeles. His trial is to begin Sept. 3.

At least five others were believed to be part of the Chesapeake Bandits, but more than two years after the first robbery, most members of the crew are reportedly either behind bars or dead.

The armed bandits targeted drive-thru ATMs and other businesses such as check-cashing locations. The suspects ambushed drivers making deliveries or pickups at drive-thru ATMs or while leaving businesses. During the robberies, the victim drivers were zip-tied and held at gunpoint. The suspects then entered the armored cars to steal the money, authorities said.

Davis admitted being part of a group that robbed a Sectran Security Services armored car driver at the Wescom Credit Union in Hawthorne on Valentine’s Day 2022 after the driver had attended to an ATM. A shot was fired during the heist but no one was harmed, papers filed in L.A. federal court say.

The group stole bags filled with $166,640 in cash belonging to Sectran Security, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

“Imagine the terror of being pulled to the ground with a gun pointed at your head,” said Krysti Hawkins, acting assistant director in charge of the FBI’s Los Angeles field office.

“Davis and his accomplices violently ambushed an individual just doing his job so they could make off with other people’s money,” she said.

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About the Author
Yosi Yahoudai is a founder and the managing partner of J&Y. His practice is comprised primarily of cases involving automobile and motorcycle accidents, but he also represents people in premises liability lawsuits, including suits alleging dangerous conditions of public property, third-party criminal conduct, and intentional torts. He also has expertise in cases involving product defects, dog bites, elder abuse, and sexual assault. He earned his Bachelor of Arts from the University of California and is admitted to practice in all California State Courts, and the United States District Court for the Southern District of California. If you have any questions about this article, you can contact Yosi by clicking here.