Criminal Justice News

Thursday, July 12, 2018

Armed Career Criminal Sentenced To 15 Years For Hobbs Act Robbery And Gun Charges


CHARLOTTE, N.C. – Ronteeni Pak Belk, 40, of Charlotte, N.C., was sentenced to 180 months in prison on Hobbs Act robbery and felon in possession of a firearm charges, announced Andrew Murray, U.S. Attorney for the Western District of North Carolina.  U.S. District Judge Max O. Cogburn, Jr. also ordered Belk to serve three years under court supervision after he is released from prison.

John A. Strong, Special Agent in Charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Charlotte Division, and Chief Kerr Putney of the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department (CMPD) join U.S. Attorney Murray in making today’s announcement.

On March 13, 2017, Belk robbed at gun point the Cash America Pawn located at 5200 North Tryon Street in Charlotte.  According to filed court documents and statements made in court, at approximately 9:00 a.m., Belk entered the store, pointed a silver handgun at employees, and demanded money.  A female employee complied and gave Belk cash from the store’s cash registers. Court records show that Belk also demanded personal items from the individuals inside the store.  The same female employee and a customer gave Belk their wallets.  Belk then fired a shot into the ground and left the scene.  Soon after Belk left the store, the female employee called 911 to report the robbery.

According to court records, CMPD officers located Belk driving a black Hyundai Elantra and began to follow him.  Belk attempted to evade the officers, and eventually crashed his vehicle at N. Graham Street and W. Sugar Creek Road.  Belk fled the scene on foot and was apprehended shortly thereafter in a wooded lot in the 5700 block of N. Graham Street. At the scene, officers recovered a chrome Raven Arms .25 caliber pistol and four live rounds, a glove, and the store employee’s wallet.  The cash from the store’s register was recovered near the intersection where Belk had crashed his vehicle.

At the time of the offense, Belk was a convicted felon and was prohibited from possessing a firearm.  Court records indicate that due to Belk’s prior criminal convictions for robbery with a dangerous weapon, he qualified for a sentencing enhancement as an armed career criminal.

Belk is currently in federal custody and will be transferred to the custody of the Federal Bureau of Prisons upon designation of a federal facility.  All federal sentences are served without the possibility of parole.  

In making today’s announcement, U.S. Attorney Murray thanked the FBI and CMPD for leading the investigation.

Assistant United States Attorney William Bozin, of the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Charlotte, prosecuted the case.

This case is part of Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), a program bringing together all levels of law enforcement and the communities they serve to reduce violent crime and make our neighborhoods safer for everyone.   Attorney General Jeff Sessions reinvigorated PSN in 2017 as part of the Department’s renewed focus on targeting violent criminals, directing all U.S. Attorney’s Offices to work in partnership with federal, state, local, and tribal law enforcement and the local community to develop effective, locally-based strategies to reduce violent crime.

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