WASHINGTON — Three men, all from Washington, DC, have been indicted on federal charges arising from a series of armed robberies and carjackings that took place in Maryland and the District of Columbia over a period of less than two months earlier this year.
Tyrell Jordan Stewart, 24, Joenathan Nelson, 25, and Azriel Echavarria, 20, have been charged with conspiracy to interfere with interstate commerce through robbery, conspiracy to commit carjacking and various related offenses. The indictment was unsealed today in the US District Court for the District of Columbia. Stewart was arrested today and appeared in court for the first time this afternoon. Nelson and Echavarria were previously in custody.
The announcement was made by U.S. Attorney Matthew M. Graves, Christopher Amon, Acting Special Agent for the Washington Field Division of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), Robert J. Contee III, Chief of the Metropolitan Police Department ( MPD), Malik Aziz, Chief of the Prince George’s County, Maryland, Police Department, and Marcus G. Jones, Chief of the Montgomery County, Maryland, Police Department.
According to the indictment, the defendants wore dark clothing and often wore masks or other clothing over their faces while committing the crimes. As alleged by the indictment, they used various vehicles, including stolen vehicles, to facilitate the robberies or to flee the scene. The crimes usually took place in the early morning between 5 and 7:30 am. In addition to businesses, targets also included people who were approached in their cars, at work, or on the street.
The indictment includes charges related to crimes committed from January 19 to March 4, 2022. These include three robberies at convenience stores, 14 robberies of individuals, one armed carjacking and three auto thefts. For example, on February 18, 2022, four armed robberies were committed in northwest and northeast Washington within 95 minutes. On February 20, 2022, two armed robberies took place within 10 minutes of convenience stores in Rockville and Kensington, Maryland. On March 4, 2022, four armed robberies took place within 35 minutes in northeast and northwest Washington.
Stewart was indicted on a total of 14 counts, including conspiracy to interfere with interstate commerce through robbery, conspiracy to commit auto theft, six counts of armed robbery, one count of robbery, five counts of interstate transportation of a stolen motor vehicle, and firearms offense.
Nelson was indicted on a total of 21 counts, including conspiracy to interfere with interstate commerce through robbery, conspiracy to commit auto theft, 11 counts of armed robbery, one count of robbery, six counts of interstate transportation of a stolen motor vehicle, and firearms offence.
Echavarria was charged with a total of five counts, including conspiracy to interfere with interstate commerce through robbery, conspiracy to commit carjacking, two counts of armed robbery and a firearms misdemeanor
Nelson was imprisoned pending further trials in Montgomery County. Echavarria is jailed after pleading guilty to carrying a handgun without a license in the District of Columbia on April 28, 2022.
An indictment is merely a formal charge that a defendant has committed a criminal offense and is not evidence of guilt. Everyone accused is presumed innocent until proven guilty.
The case is being investigated by the ATF’s Washington Field Division, the Metropolitan Police Department, the Montgomery County, Maryland Police Department and the Prince George’s County, Maryland Police Department.
The case is being prosecuted by Assistant US Attorney Brian Lynch and Assistant US Attorney Matthew Kinskey from the US Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia’s Violence Reduction and Human Trafficking Division.