Columbia, South Carolina – United States Attorney Sherri A. Lydon announced today that Ron Luclaire Houser, 42, of Mathews, North Carolina, pleaded guilty in federal court to seven counts of Hobbs Act robbery and two counts of brandishing a firearm in furtherance of a crime of violence.
Evidence presented to the court showed that Houser committed multiple armed robberies from November 2016 through January 2018 throughout North and South Carolina. In all, Houser robbed six Dollar General stores and a gas station. The robberies occurred in Fort Mill, Lancaster, and Lugoff, South Carolina, and Monroe and Ansonville, North Carolina. In each robbery, Houser threatened employees at gunpoint.
Houser faces of maximum penalty of life in federal prison. Senior United States District Judge Cameron M. Currie accepted the guilty plea and will sentence him after receiving and reviewing a presentencing report prepared by the United States Probation Office.
The charges against Houser were the result of an extensive and coordinated investigation between the Federal Bureau of Investigation the Kershaw County Sheriff’s Office, Fairfield County Sheriff’s Office, and Lancaster County Sheriff’s Office of South Carolina and the Union County Sheriff’s Office, Stanly County Sheriff’s Office, Oakboro Police Department, Thomasville Police Department, and Stallings Police Department in North Carolina.
This case was prosecuted as part of the joint federal, state, and local Project CeaseFire initiative, which aggressively prosecutes firearm cases. Project CeaseFire is South Carolina’s implementation of Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), the centerpiece of the Department of Justice’s violent crime reduction efforts. PSN is an evidence-based program proven to be effective at reducing violent crime.
Through PSN, a broad spectrum of stakeholders work together to identify the most pressing violent crime problems in the community and develop comprehensive solutions to address them. As part of this strategy, PSN focuses enforcement efforts on the most violent offenders and partners with locally based prevention and reentry programs for lasting reductions in crime. Assistant United States Attorney Will Lewis of the Columbia office is prosecuting the case.
SOURCE: news provided by JUSTICE.GOV on March 11, 2019.