Four East Bay Residents Charged In Street Gang Conspiracy To Commit Violent Robberies Of Bay Area Businesses,

OAKLAND, CA ” April 30, 2024 – A federal grand jury has handed down a superseding indictment alleging Jakari Jenkins, Demarco Barnett, Garland Rabon, and Keanna Smith-Stewart conspired with each other, and other members of an Oakland-based street gang, to rob several San Francisco Bay Area businesses, announced United States Attorney Ismail J. Ramsey and Federal Bureau of Investigation (“FBI”) Special Agent in Charge Robert K Tripp. The superseding indictment, filed April 18, 2024, was unsealed last Friday at an initial appearance by defendant Rabon before U.S. Magistrate Judge Kandis A. Westmore. The final defendant to appear in court, Ms. Smith-Stewart, made her initial appearance before Magistrate Judge Westmore earlier today.

The superseding indictment alleges that by March of 2022, the four defendants were all members of, or had association with, an Oakland-based street gang called the Ghost Town gang. The indictment describes a series of armed robberies and burglaries that were committed by groups of co-conspirators.

The first robbery described in the superseding indictment involved Barnett and Jenkins, who along with other members of the gang carried out the armed robbery of a coin and stamp store located on the 10th floor of a building in the South of Market neighborhood of San Francisco. As part of the plan, members of the conspiracy allegedly rented a car to be used as a getaway car. In addition, members of the conspiracy stole a license plate to be used on the getaway car and met additional members of the conspiracy at the Oakland residence of another gang member. On March 18, 2022, the day of the robbery, Barnett, Jenkins, and at least two additional unnamed co-conspirators entered the store, brandished firearms, and demanded money from the business and the two individuals who happened to be present at the time” the owner and his son. The robbers struck the head and zip-tied the hands of the owner’s son, and absconded with cash, jewelry, and coins having an aggregate value of more than $300,000.

The second armed robbery described in the superseding indictment occurred approximately eight months later. As a prelude to the second robbery, members of the conspiracy pretended to be customers of a jewelry store in San Pablo. The pretend customers left jewelry with the operators of the store. According to the indictment, Jenkins, Barnett, and Rabon arrived at the jewelry store on November 12, 2022, with at least four other co-conspirators and robbed the store of jewelry, including the jewelry that members of the gang previously had left with the store. The robbers arrived in two getaway cars”both Dodge Chargers bearing stolen license plates. Five co-conspirators, at least three of whom were brandishing firearms, entered the store while two of the co-conspirators waited outside in the getaway cars. The co-conspirators stole bags of jewelry valued at approximately $300,000 to $500,000. The indictment describes how all four defendants in the superseding indictment later wore the stolen jewelry, shared the stolen jewelry with other members of Ghost Town gang members, or otherwise made use of the stolen jewelry for their personal purposes.

The superseding indictment also describes the November 24, 2022, burglary of an Audi dealership in Oakland. Specifically, the indictment describes how days before the robbery, Smith-Stewart allegedly purchased a black Audi S5 from the dealership using a fake driver’s license and another person’s social security number. After providing a down payment of approximately $9,500 toward the purchase of the car, Jenkins, Barnett, and another unindicted co-conspirator burglarized the dealership and stole the safe containing the down payment that Smith-Stewart previously had submitted.

Finally, the superseding indictment describes the Christmas Eve, 2022, armed robbery of a marijuana business in Oakland and one of its employees. The superseding indictment describes how the worker was leaving the business when Jenkins, Barnett, Rabon, and Smith-Stewart, along with at least four other co-conspirators, arrived at the marijuana business in two getaway cars. The robbers brandished weapons, directed the worker back into the building, and demanded “budded weed” and “money.” One of the robbers struck the worker in the head with a firearm. The robbers searched through the worker’s pockets and stole his bank debit card. The robbers absconded with the victim’s debit card and a bag of marijuana plant trimmings. The superseding indictment describes how on December 26, 2022, Smith-Stewart allegedly used the victim’s debit card at Westfield Mall in San Francisco to purchase more than $1,000 worth of items at Bloomingdale’s and Nordstrom.

In sum, the defendants are charged with the following crimes:

DefendantChargeMaximum Statutory Sentence, If Convicted
ALL DEFENDANTS (one count each)18 U.S.C. § 1951(a)
Conspiracy to Engage in Robbery Affecting Interstate Commerce
(Hobbs Act Robbery)
– Imprisonment: 20 years – Fine: $250,000 – Supervised Release: 3 years – Special Assessment: $100 per count – Forfeiture – Restitution
JAKARI JENKINS (three counts) DEMARCO BARNETT (three counts) GARLAND RABON (two counts) KEANNA SMITH-STEWART (one count)18 U.S.C. § 1951 Robbery and Aiding and Abetting Robbery Affecting Interstate Commerce– Imprisonment: 20 years – Fine: $250,000 – Supervised Release: 3 years – Special Assessment: $100 per count – Forfeiture – Restitution
KEANNA SMITH-STEWART (one count)18 U.S.C. §§ 1029(a) and 2 Counterfeit Access Device Fraud-Imprisonment: 10 years – Fine: $250,000 – Supervised Release: 3 years – Special Assessment: $100 – Forfeiture – Restitution
KEANNA SMITH-STEWART (one count)18 U.S.C. § 1029(a)(5) Access Device FraudImprisonment: 15 years – Fine: $250,000 – Supervised Release: 3 years – Special Assessment: $100 – Forfeiture – Restitution

In addition, as part of any sentence, the court may order additional fines; restitution, if appropriate; and an additional term of supervised release to begin after any prison. Nevertheless, any sentence following conviction would be imposed by the court after consideration of the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and the federal statute governing the imposition of a sentence, 18 U.S.C. § 3553.

An indictment merely alleges that crimes have been committed, and all defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.

Defendants Jenkins and Barnett are in custody and are scheduled to make the next appearance before the Honorable U.S. District Judge Araceli Martinez-Olguin on July 15, 2024, in Oakland. Defendants Rabon and Smith-Stewart are in custody and scheduled to appear before Chief Magistrate Judge Ryu on May 1, 2024.

This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Lauren Harding and Jonathan Lee, with the assistance of Yenni Weinberg and Erick Machado. The prosecution is the result of an investigation by the FBI, with assistance from the police departments of Oakland, San Francisco, and San Pablo.

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