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News from the DOJ
justice department

Crime releases from Barry L. Paschal, Public Affairs Officer, U.S. Attorney’s Office – Southern District of Georgia

Savannah man pleads guilty to role in armed carjackings and attempted robbery

A Savannah man who participated in an attempted robbery and armed carjackings across South Georgia has pled guilty to a series of violent crime charges.

Samuel Renardo Chisholm, a/k/a “Chilly Willy,” a/k/a “Pooh,” 29, of Savannah, pled guilty in U.S. District Court to brandishing a firearm during an attempted carjacking in Ware County, and conspiring to use and carry a firearm during a carjacking in Savannah and an attempted armed robbery in Waycross, said Bobby L. Christine, U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Georgia. The charges carry a possible penalty of up to life in prison, and there is no parole in the federal system.

As described in court documents and testimony, on July 25, 2019, Chisholm participated in the armed carjacking of a woman in Savannah.  The next day, Chisholm participated in the attempted robbery of a customer outside the TJ Maxx store in Waycross, Ga., and then a short time later, he attempted to carjack a vehicle in Ware County by brandishing a handgun.  He was arrested by Ware County law enforcement shortly after the attempted carjacking and has remained in custody.

The case was investigated by the FBI, the Savannah Police Department, the Ware County Sheriff’s Office, and the Waycross Police Department, and prosecuted for the United States by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Georgia.

Three men indicted for scheme to use a drone to smuggle contraband into a Georgia state prison

Three men, one of them a prison inmate, have been indicted for attempting to use a drone to smuggle contraband into a Georgia state prison.

George Lo, 37, an inmate currently at Smith State Prison in Glennville, Ga.; his brother, Nicholas Lo, 34, of Dallas, Ga.; and Cheikh Hassan Toure, 34, of Austell, Ga., are charged with Conspiracy, said Bobby L. Christine, U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Georgia. George Lo and Nicholas Lo also are charged with Owning an Unregistered Aircraft that was Operated, Attempted to be Operated, or Allowed to be Operated by Another Person; and Nicholas Lo and Toure are charged with Serving or Attempting to Serve as an Airman without an Airman’s Certificate.

As described in court documents, George Lo, then an inmate serving a state sentence for armed robbery at Telfair State Prison in McRae-Helena, Ga., as early as July 13, 2019, conspired with Nicholas Lo and Toure, and others, to own and operate a Storm Drone 4 kit-built unmanned aircraft without registration or licensing. The Lo brothers discussed using the drone to deliver contraband to Telfair State Prison, and Nicholas Lo and Toure practiced flying the aircraft. 

At 1:30 a.m., on Aug. 26, 2019, Telfair County Sheriff’s deputies observed an approaching vehicle turn off its lights and park about 100 yards from Telfair State Prison. During a search of the area, Deputies encountered Nicholas Lo and Toure in a wooded area between the road and prison. The pair possessed a large duffle bag containing the drone, a RadioLink AT9S UAS controller, a Spektrum video monitor and a headset. In addition, the bag contained 14 cell phones, at least 74 grams of tobacco, a digital scale, earbud headphones and firearm ammunition. Nicholas Lo and Toure were taken into custody. Nicholas Lo was remanded to the custody of the Georgia Department of Community Supervision on a probation violation and currently is serving the remainder of a state sentence in Hays State Prison, and Toure was arraigned in U.S. District Court on Tuesday, Oct. 27, where he pled not guilty and remains free on bond from his initial arrest.

Federal law requires registration of unmanned aircraft weighing 0.55 pounds or more, and the Storm Drone 4’s weight was in excess of that requirement. Also, federal law requires the pilot of any unmanned aircraft to hold an airman’s certificate when operating the unmanned aircraft for compensation or hire.

Criminal indictments contain only charges; defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.

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