It took less than a half-hour for a federal jury to convict two former Mon Valley men in connection with what prosecutors described as a "robbery spree."
Kahlil Shelton, 23, of Duquesne, and Deron Howell, 25, of Swissvale, are scheduled to be sentenced Oct. 1 by U.S. District Judge Billy Roy Wilson in Pittsburgh.
Both could face life sentences, a spokeswoman for U.S. Attorney Scott W. Brady said Monday.
At the trial before Wilson, prosecutors alleged that Howell and two unidentified accomplices robbed four professional video game players at gunpoint on July 27, 2017, after picking them up at Pittsburgh International Airport.
The victims lost $6,700, luggage and other personal belongings, prosecutors said.
According to Brady, less than two weeks later, on Aug. 7, 2017, Howell and Shelton robbed two people in Cranberry Twp., Butler County.
Prosecutors allege the men told the victims they wanted to purchase six pounds of marijuana.
Instead, prosecutors said, Shelton held the victims at gunpoint while Howell robbed them.
When one of the victims attempted to flee, prosecutors said a third, unknown accomplice shot the man through the chest. The man survived.
Jurors found Shelton guilty of five counts of violating federal narcotics, robbery, and firearm laws and Howell
guilty of eight counts of violating federal narcotics, robbery, and firearm laws.
Shelton faces a minimum of seven years in prison and a fine of $250,000, while Howell faces a minimum of 30 years in prison and a fine of $250,000, Brady's spokeswoman said.
The federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives along with Cranberry Twp. and Pittsburgh police investigated the incidents, the spokeswoman said.
Originally published May 22, 2018.