The United States Attorney for the Eastern District of North Carolina, Robert J. Higdon, Jr., announced that today in federal court, Senior United States District Judge W. Earl Britt sentenced MURDOCK RAEFORD SHERROD, 53, of Wilson, North Carolina to 120 months of imprisonment followed by 3 years of supervised release.
SHERROD was charged in an Indictment on March 7, 2018 with a Hobbs Act Robbery. On May 1, 2018, SHERROD pled guilty to the charge.
On January 25, 2018, the Wilson Police Department (WPD) received an alert of a robbery in progress at the Family Dollar Store in Wilson. Their investigation revealed that on January 25, 2018, SHERROD entered the Family Dollar store wearing a hospital-type mask over his face. He walked to the sales register, picked up a bag of chips, and placed it on the counter. The store clerk then rang the item up for sale. When the register opened, SHERROD demanded $300. The clerk pulled out all the money in the drawer and placed it on the counter. SHERROD then demanded the money that was underneath the drawer; however, the clerk informed SHERROD there was no money under the drawer. While this was transpiring, the clerk was screaming and attempting to dial 911 on her cell phone. SHERROD demanded the cell phone, which the clerk handed to him. SHERROD kept one of his hands concealed, leading the clerk to believe SHERROD was armed. Video surveillance further showed SHERROD making motions with his right hand inside his jacket pocket, which appeared as if SHERROD was concealing a weapon. After realizing there was no money under the drawer, SHERROD took the $89 that the clerk placed on the counter and quickly walked toward the exit door, dropping the cell phone, and knocking the door off its rail. A second store clerk present in the store, heard the other clerk yell for help and sounded the security alarm. Following his arrest, SHERROD was interviewed by a WPD detective where he admitted to committing the Family Dollar robbery.
This case is part of Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), a program bringing together all levels of law enforcement and the communities they serve to reduce violent crime and make our neighborhoods safer for everyone. Attorney General Jeff Sessions reinvigorated PSN in 2017 as part of the Department’s renewed focus on targeting violent criminals, directing all U.S. Attorney’s Offices to work in partnership with federal, state, local, and tribal law enforcement and the local community to develop effective, locally based strategies to reduce violent crime.
In support of PSN, the United States Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of North Carolina has implemented the Take Back North Carolina Initiative. This initiative emphasizes the regional assignment of federal prosecutors to work with law enforcement and District Attorney’s Offices on a sustained basis in those communities to reduce the violent crime rate, drug trafficking, and crimes against law enforcement.
The Wilson Police Department and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives conducted the criminal investigation of this case. Assistant United States Attorney James J. Kurosad handled the prosecution of this case for the government.