CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - The 35-year-old California man convicted in federal court in connection to a downtown jewelry heist will spend 32 years in prison for the crime, according to court documents.
Charles Eloys Johnson, of San Leandro, was convicted in June of five separate counts: one count of conspiracy to commit robbery affecting interstate commerce, two counts of robbery affecting interstate commerce, and two counts of brandishing a firearm during a violent crime.
Court documents filed on Wednesday state Johnson was sentenced to a total of 32 years and 1 day. He was also sentenced to pay restitution of $1,125,550 beginning upon his release from prison, court documents state. Of that money, $715,550 will go to MP Demetre Jewelers, the documents state.
According to federal officials, testimony developed during trial showed that Johnson and others traveled from Atlanta to rob Sylvan Jewelers in Columbia on Feb. 19, 2015 and MP Demetre Jewelers in Charleston on March 4, 2015.
Two other defendants, Aquabeus Moore, 34, of Riverdale, Ga.; and Jerry Harbin, 29, of Antioch, Calif., were still awaiting trial.
Authorities say two male subjects, one armed with a hammer and the other with a gun, robbed Demetre Jewelers in Charleston at 11:23 a.m. on March 4, 2015.
According to police, one of the suspects ordered an employee to the ground, while the other broke the case and stole Rolex watches.
The hammer was used to smash a showcase, said CPD spokesman Charles Francis.
Charleston police recovered a van, a green, two-tone Pontiac Montana, they say was used in the robbery. The van was located in downtown Charleston on 30 Coming Street.
The conviction is the result of an investigation conducted by the Federal Bureau of Investigations, City of Charleston Police Department and Columbia Police Department.