Two 18-year-old men are due in court May 2 to answer federal charges stemming from the armed robbery of a Mission Viejo jewelry store, during which nearly $600,000 in merchandise was stolen, according to court records obtained Thursday.
State charges against Devan Devell Howard of Inglewood and Marshawn Marshall of Palmdale were dropped March 17 after they were indicted by a federal grand jury, according to Deputy District Attorney Andrew Katz.
Howard and Marshall pleaded not guilty in federal court March 18 to robbery, use of a gun in a robbery and aiding and abetting and were ordered to return to court May 2 for a pretrial conference, according to court records.
There are two unidentified co-conspirators in the indictment.
Levon Michael Tippit, 23, of Inglewood, pleaded guilty in state court Jan. 12 to stealing a Chevy Tahoe used as a getaway vehicle in the robbery and was sentenced to two years in jail.
Multiple felonies for robbery with sentencing enhancements for gang activity and theft exceeding $150,000 and the use of a dangerous weapon were dismissed against Tippit.
Howard and Marshall were accused in the Oct. 21 robbery at the Fredric H. Rubel jewelry store in the Shops at Mission Viejo mall, according to the indictment.
The robbery took place just before 1 p.m. The masked robbers smashed a couple of glass cases and grabbed gems and Rolex watches worth $595,480, according to the indictment.
Witnesses reported seeing the robbers dump their loot out the window of the stolen getaway vehicle on the San Diego (405) Freeway in the Costa Mesa area about a half-hour after the heist, sheriff’s officials said, noting the watches were equipped with tracking devices.
Much of the stolen jewelry was recovered on the side of the freeway, sheriff’s officials said in October.
— Wire reports