Man accused of buying cellphones stolen during local robberies, shipping them to Hong Kong

HAMPTON ROADS, Va. - A man is accused of paying cash for cellphones and other devices that were stolen during robberies throughout Hampton Roads and sending them to Hong Kong, according to federal documents.

Derek Granger, John Rutledge, Timothy Hill, Kevin Farmer, Ja'Kual Ward and Rodriquez Nixon

Back on November 23, 2018, Virginia Beach Police told News 3 employees at a Sprint store were zip tied while three men robbed the place.

“I had never been robbed," said Germain Carter, who News 3 interviewed around the time of the robbery.

He said he feared for his life while the attack was happening.

Carter said, "This is my last day over some iPhones. That's what was going through my head... scary.”

The suspects stole more than $44,000 worth of Apple products before fleeing on foot behind the business, according to authorities.

Back when it happened, police said the culprits appeared to be the same suspects from an armed robbery in Norfolk.

Then, in January 2019, News 3 reported that six men were arrested for several area robberies at local cellphone stores.

Currently, Derek Granger, John Rutledge, Timothy Hill, Kevin Farmer, Ja'Kual Ward and Rodriquez Nixon are being held in the Western Tidewater Regional Jail.

Police accuse the men of robbing the following cellphone stores:

  • Sprint Store - 2000 Colonial Avenue, Norfolk on November 12, 2018
  • Sprint Store - 2704 N. Mall Drive, Virginia Beach on November 23, 2018
  • T-Mobile store - 4214 Indian River Road, Chesapeake on December 5, 2018
  • Sprint store - 1710 E. Little Creek Road, Norfolk on December 9, 2018
  • T-Mobile store - 1721 Laskin Road, Virginia Beach on December 14, 2018

Ken Nguyen is now also facing charges for conspiracy to transmit stolen goods in foreign commerce.

Prosecutors allege that after the suspects robbed the stores, they would contact Nguyen, who would allegedly pay them for the stolen devices in cash.

Court records list five list robberies connected with Nguyen’s case:

  • $16,892 worth of mobile phones and devices were stolen during a robbery from a Sprint store in Norfolk on November 12, 2018.
  • $44,725 worth of mobile phones and devices were stolen during a robbery at Sprint Store in Virginia Beach on November 23, 2018.
  • $30,084 worth of mobile phones and devices were stolen during a robbery at T-Mobile store in Virginia Beach on December 5, 2018.
  • $44,000 worth of mobile phones and devices were stolen during a robbery at a Sprint store in Norfolk on December 9, 2018.
  • $32,000 worth of mobile phones and devices were stolen during a robbery at T-Mobile Store in Virginia Beach on December 14, 2018.
  • $12,988 worth of mobile phones and devices were stolen during a robbery at AT&T Store in Newport News on March 10, 2019.

He is accused of shipping the stolen devices to Hong Kong.

We reached out to his attorney, who had no comment.

Court records indicate that he is scheduled to appear in court on December 18 and is expected to enter a plea of guilty.

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