Pee Dee armed robber found guilty at trial

From US States Attorney, Bill Nettles:

Columbia, South Carolina ---- United States Attorney Bill Nettles stated today that Malcolm Robert Lee Melvin, age 20, of Florence, SC, was found guilty today in federal court, in Florence, South Carolina, of one count of conspiracy to commit armed robbery, eight counts of Hobbs Act armed robbery, and eight counts of possession or use of a firearm in furtherance of an act of violence.  United States District Judge R. Bryan Harwell of Florence, South Carolina presided over the trial and will impose sentence after he has reviewed the presentence report which will be prepared by the U.S. Probation Office.

Evidence presented during the two day trial established that between June 22nd and June 28th, 2010, Melvin and his co-defendants robbed a total of eight convenience stores in the counties of Florence, Darlington, Calhoun, and Orangeburg. Firearms used during the robberies included a 9mm pistol and a sawed off 12 gauge shotgun. The businesses affected included a BP gas station, two Cruizers gas stations, and an Exxon station in Florence County; a Sav-way and Markette stores in Darlington County; a Lil Cricket store in Calhoun County; and a Lil Cricket in Orangeburg County. The jury deliberated approximately 45 minutes before finding Melvin guilty of all charges.

Mr. Nettles stated the maximum penalty Melvin can receive is a fine of $250,000.00 and/or imprisonment for 20 years for the conspiracy count and for each armed robbery count, 10 years for the first 924(c) conviction and 25 years mandatorily consecutive for the remaining seven counts of 924(c), totaling at least 205 years imprisonment, plus a special assessment of $100.00 on each count of conviction.

The case was investigated by the Darlington County Sheriff's Office, Darlington Police Department, Florence Police Department, Florence County Sheriff's Office, Calhoun County Sheriff's Office, Orangeburg County Sheriff's Office, and agents of ATF.  Assistant United States Attorney Alfred W. Bethea, Jr., of the Florence office handled the case.