SAVANNAH, GA: A Savannah man has admitted taking part in the March 2019 robbery of a bar that left a U.S. Army serviceman wounded.
Anthony Curtis Raife, 24, pled guilty to Possessing a Short-Barreled Shotgun in Furtherance of a Violent Crime in U.S. District Court, said Bobby L. Christine, U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Georgia. The charge carries penalty of a minimum of 10 years in prison and of up to life in prison, followed by a period of supervised release. There is no parole in the federal system.
“Violent criminals have no place in our community except behind bars,” said U.S. Attorney Christine. “It’s fortunate that the good Samaritan who attempted to intervene in this robbery has recovered, and that his actions and those of our law enforcement partners helped take this violent criminal off the street.”
According to court documents and testimony, Raife and another man robbed the Brewer’s Sports Pub and Grill on Ogeechee Road on March 24, 2019. Both were armed. Raife carried a short-barreled shotgun that he pointed at patrons during the robbery. A bar customer, who was an active-duty U.S. Army serviceman, witnessed the robbery and helped other patrons escape. The serviceman then went unarmed to the rear of the store and punched Raife in the face, knocking the gun out of Raife’s hands. In response, the serviceman was shot by the other robber. Both robbers then fled; the soldier was treated and recovered.
Raife was located and arrested.
Anyone with information concerning the robbery is encouraged to call the FBI at 912-790-3100 or the Chatham County Police Department Tip Line at 912-650-6161.
“This case exemplifies the danger posed to innocent people when criminals use weapons to commit crimes in places of business,” said Chris Hacker, Special Agent in Charge of FBI Atlanta. “We are fortunate that a brave soldier did not lose his life because of this brazen act of violence. We are also grateful for his actions and the actions of our local law enforcement partners who were instrumental in bringing this suspect to justice.”
“From the moment our first responding officers arrived on the scene until Mr. Raife was captured, the members of the Chatham County Police Department worked tirelessly to bring him to justice,” said Chatham County Police Chief Jeffrey Hadley. “Like every case we investigate, this was a team effort between officers who responded and secured the scene, forensic officers who meticulously gathered physical evidence, and detectives who investigated numerous leads until Mr. Raife was apprehended. I’m very proud of our efforts, and proud that are streets are safer with Mr. Raife behind bars.”
The case was investigated by the FBI and the Chatham County Police Department, and prosecuted for the United States by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Georgia.