Carjacking earns pair prison

By Mike Gellatly -

GREENVILLE — A federal judge has sentenced a Fayetteville man and Robeson County woman to prison in connection to a criminal partnership that included a 2015 assault and carjacking attack of a St. Pauls family and financial crimes.

Senior U.S. District Judge Malcolm J. Howard sentenced Bobby Deshawn Bailey, 22, of Fayetteville, to 12 years imprisonment, followed by five years of supervised release, and Ericka Andrea Monique Johnson, 22, of Shannon, to 14 months in prison, followed by five years of supervised release.

Bailey was charged with carjacking and brandishing a firearm during a crime of violence. He pleaded guilty to those charges on Feb. 13 and was sentenced last week. Johnson pleaded guilty to aiding and abetting, and fraud.

Bailey is awaiting the outcome of several other charges related to the alleged Feb. 23, 2016, kidnapping of Earl Wolff, who played football at N.C. State and is a member of the National Football League’s Washington Redskins. He also is alleged to have been in possession of checks stolen from Lumberton Councilman John Cantey.

On Jan. 5, 2015, a St. Pauls man and his two sons, ages 8 and 14, left their St. Pauls home. Bailey and three other men, armed with handguns, approached yelling, “Police.” The victim, an ex-boyfriend of Johnson’s, and his children were forced into a vehicle. He was bound with his own shoelaces and was repeatedly hit during the ordeal. His sons witnessed the abuse, according to the Department of Justice.

The armed kidnappers demanded money, threatening to kill the man and his children if their demands were not met. The victim and his children were taken to woods in Fayetteville, where they escaped. The kidnappers fled with the victims’ cell phones and the vehicle.

Bailey and Johnson also admitted financial misdeed, which could include the illegal use of Cantey’s checks.

In federal court, they were charged in a separate indictment filed on June 1, 2016, with two counts of bank fraud and aiding and abetting. Johnson also was indicted on charges of access device fraud, and aiding and abetting. Bailey pleaded guilty to the bank fraud counts on Aug. 8, 2016. Johnson pleaded guilty to the three charges she faced on Jan. 12.

The fraud investigation revealed that in December 2015, Bailey and Johnson, along with several unindicted co-conspirators, worked to defraud banks. The scheme involved Bailey and Johnson depositing stolen or counterfeit checks into ATMs located throughout North Carolina and Virginia. As soon as the stolen or counterfeit checks were deposited, Bailey, Johnson and others involved would withdraw funds from an ATM, or they would attempt to obtain the money via debit purchases and “cash back” at stores. They also moved money between accounts in order to make the transfers more difficult to track.

The cases were investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the United States Department of the Treasury, the Fayetteville Police Department, the St. Pauls Police Department, and the Hope Mills Police Department.

By Mike Gellatly

Reach Mike Gellatly at 910-816-1989 or via Twitter @MikeGellatly

Reach Mike Gellatly at 910-816-1989 or via Twitter @MikeGellatly

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