Bail was denied Tuesday for a 22-year-old South Los Angeles probationer charged with robbing an undercover U.S. Secret Service agent at gunpoint under the pretense of selling him counterfeit money.
Tyre Jordan “Reckless” Simmons was among two men named in a six-count federal indictment alleging a transaction involving counterfeit currency and the armed robbery of the undercover agent last winter, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.
After hearing arguments from a federal prosecutor and defense attorney, U.S. Magistrate Judge Michael R. Wilner denied Simmons bail, finding no potential release conditions were sufficient to ensure the safety of the community or the defendant’s appearance at future court dates.
The allegation that Simmons pulled a loaded, stolen weapon on the government agent during a robbery and then fled the scene “is way too serious for me to ignore,” Wilner said from the bench.
Simmons and Richard Taron “Profit” Henderson face charges of conspiracy, robbery, assaulting a federal officer with a deadly weapon and using a firearm during a crime of violence. Henderson is also charged with dealing counterfeit money, and Simmons is accused of being a felon in possession of a firearm, according to prosecutors.
Simmons was convicted of robbery in Los Angeles County Superior Court in 2016 and was on probation at the time of the current offense, Assistant U.S. Attorney Matt O’Brien said, adding that the defendant appeared to be a member of a local gang.
But in making his argument for bail pending trial, defense attorney Shaun Khojayan told the judge his client has strong family ties and was definitely not a gang member or associate.
The attorney conceded, however, that “the facts of the case are disturbing,” and indicated that Simmons might eventually enter into a plea agreement with prosecutors.
The federal indictment, filed in downtown Los Angeles, claims that on Oct. 18, 2017, Henderson allegedly sold 250 counterfeit $20 bills as part of a Secret Service investigation into the trafficking of counterfeit money.
As the probe continued, Henderson allegedly negotiated a deal to sell $40,000 in counterfeit money. However, the deal was a pretense to rob the undercover agent who was posing as a buyer of the bogus currency, according to the indictment.
On March 26, Henderson arranged a meeting in South Los Angeles and prepared for it by stuffing clothes into a duffel bag to make it appear that the bag was filled with counterfeit bills, the document alleges.
Prosecutors allege that Henderson dispatched Simmons to meet with the agent. During the meeting, Simmons allegedly produced a Taurus 9mm handgun, pointed it in the face of the undercover agent and robbed him of $4,500 in genuine United States currency and the keys to the undercover Secret Service vehicle. In committing the robbery, Henderson and Simmons put the life of the undercover agent in jeopardy by using a dangerous weapon, federal prosecutors contend.
If convicted as charged, Henderson would face up to 20 years behind bars on the counterfeit money charge. Both defendants would face up to 50 years for the charges related to the alleged robbery, plus a mandatory seven-year sentence related to the use of the firearm.
Simmons would face up to 10 years in prison for being a felon in possession of a firearm, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.