NORFOLK, Va. – A Norfolk man pleaded guilty Tuesday to the armed robbery of a Colonial Heights Sprint store, as well as three separate instances of armed drug trafficking in Norfolk.
Tajh Rodgers, 29, admitted to working with an accomplice to commit a violent armed robbery in January. During the robbery, he and his co-conspirator ordered two employees to the back of the store at gunpoint and forced them to lie on the floor.
Rodgers and his accomplice had to wait several minutes for the store’s safe to open due to a time-lock delay, according to court documents. While waiting, the two robbers attempted to tie up the employees and threatened to kill them if they called the police.
When a customer entered the store, the two robbers allowed one employee to go to the front and assist them, telling the employee he would be killed if he tried to alert the customer to what was happening.
A total of 72 items valued at approximately $25,000 were stolen from the store, according to court documents.
While investigating the robbery, detectives found connections between Rodgers and another drug trafficking investigation in Norfolk. Rodgers allegedly engaged in several armed drug transactions, selling fentanyl, crack cocaine and firearms while armed with the same pistol he carried during the Sprint store robbery.
Investigators obtained a search warrant for his Norfolk residence, and found various items connected to the Sprint store robbery, as well as a number of drugs and drug paraphernalia.
For Rodgers’ robbery charges, he faces a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison. For his firearms charges, he faces a mandatory minimum of 22 years and a maximum of life in prison.
He will be sentenced January 9, 2020.