DAYTON, Ohio (7-7-21) – A Columbus, Ohio, man pleaded guilty in federal court today to his role in multiple home invasions in the greater Dayton region.
William Anthony-Lee Baylor (28) pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to violate the Hobbs Act.
The Hobbs Act proscribes obstructing commerce by means of robbery or extortion or attempting or conspiring to do so. The Act applies to individuals and legal entities alike. It permits prosecutions, although the impact on commerce may be minimal. It condemns the robbery—knowingly taking the property of another by force or threat—of drug dealers, mom-and-pop markets, and multinational corporations.
Attempted Hobbs Act robbery consists of an intent to rob, coupled with a substantial step toward that objective; conspiracy, a scheme of two or more to rob or extort; and accomplice liability, aiding and abetting a Hobbs Act violation of another.
Hobbs Act robbery, punishable by imprisonment for not more than 20 years, often occurs in confluence with the use of a firearm during and in furtherance of its commission, a fact that triggers the mandatory minimum sentences authorized in 18 U.S.C. § 924(c). The facts present in a Hobbs Act robbery case may also implicate violations of (1) the federal racketeering statute punishable by imprisonment for not more than 20 years and (2) the federal money laundering statutes, likewise punishable by imprisonment for not more than 20 years.
According to court documents, Baylor, co-defendant Kieran Chandre Furness and others conspired to commit home invasions of Dayton-area drug dealers.
Baylor admitted to taking part in armed robberies of drug dealers to steal from their illicit drug inventories and cash proceeds of drug dealing. The co-conspirators also stole vehicles, jewelry, clothing, shoes and firearms.
For example, in January 2019, Baylor acknowledged that he and others forced entry into a residence in Trotwood. While inside the home, defendants bound up the ankles and wrists of two individuals, forced them to lie face down on the floor, and brandished firearms towards the individuals.
As part of Baylor’s global plea agreement, he also admits his guilt to five local charges in Montgomery County Court of Common Pleas: two counts of aggravated burglary, two counts of theft and one count of kidnapping.
Baylor faces up to 20 years in prison on his federal charge. Congress sets the maximum statutory sentence. Sentencing of the defendant will be determined by the Court based on the advisory sentencing guidelines and other statutory factors.
Charges remain pending against Furness, who is alleged to have invaded at least five Dayton-area homes as part of this conspiracy.
Vipal J. Patel, Acting United States Attorney for the Southern District of Ohio; Roland Herndon, Special Agent in Charge, U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms & Explosives (ATF); Montgomery County Sheriff Rob Streck; Trotwood Police Chief Erik Wilson; and Montgomery County Prosecutor Mathias H. Heck, Jr. announced the plea entered into today before Senior U.S. District Judge Thomas M. Rose. Assistant United States Attorney Dwight K. Keller is representing the United States in this case.