Desoto County News

Second sentencing in series of area armed robberies

Co-defendant was sentenced this spring for his role in the crimes.

Credit: U.S. Attorney’s Office, Western District of Tennessee

On Tuesday, June 13  a federal judge sentenced the second of two men involved in a series of robberies of mid-South Walmart and Kroger stores beginning Christmas Eve 2021. 

Randy Readus, age 36, of Memphis was sentenced to 180 months in federal prison for his role in multiple business robberies and conspiracy to commit robberies in Memphis and surrounding areas.

U.S. District Court Judge John T. Fowlkes, Jr. also ordered Readus to serve two years of supervised release and pay restitution of more than $34,000 upon completion of his prison term.

There is no parole in the federal system.

Note: Readus convicted on robbery charges

Readus’ co-defendant, Julius Black, age 32 of Memphis, was sentenced on May 18 to 240 months in prison after previously pleading guilty to these and other robbery charges. Judge Fowlkes also ordered that Black serve three years of supervised release and pay restitution.

This case was investigated by the FBI’s Safe Streets Task Force.

According to United States Attorney Kevin Ritz and the information presented in court, between December 2020 and January 2021, Readus and Black committed multiple business robberies in Arkansas, Mississippi, and Tennessee.   

On the morning of Dec. 24, 2020, Readus drove Black from Memphis to Marion, Arkansas.  Black entered Walmart, robbed the Money Center at gunpoint, then fled with a large amount of cash in a vehicle driven by Readus, who was waiting outside.   

Readus and Black went on to conduct similar robberies of the following businesses:

  • Dec. 26, 2020: Walmart, 512 Industrial Park Drive, Trumann, Arkansas.
  • Dec. 31, 2020: Kroger, at 6660 Poplar Avenue. Readus drove Black to the Kroger, and Black jumped the customer service desk, forced his way into the finance room, and forcibly stole money.
  • Jan. 6, 2021: Walmart, 950 Mackie Drive, Holly Springs, Mississippi.
  • Jan. 8, 2021: Kroger, 9025 Highway 64, Memphis, Tennessee.
  • Jan. 8, 2021: Kroger, Highway 70, Arlington, Tennessee. The pair attempted to rob the store but got away without any money.
  • Jan. 12, 2021: Walmart, New Albany, Mississippi. The FBI Safe Streets Task Force apprehended Readus and Black after the robbery, disabling the vehicle before the two could flee the scene.

After a six-day jury trial in February 2023, Readus was convicted of conspiracy to commit armed robbery, two counts of robbery, one count of attempted robbery and one count of use of a firearm during and in relation to a crime of violence. 

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