Indy men sentenced for string of armed robberies

Two Indianapolis men have been sentenced to a combined 10.5 years in prison for three armed robberies — including one at a Greenwood smoke shop.

Corey Rice, 19, was sentenced to 60 months, or five years, and Antonio Williams, 19, was sentenced to 66 months, or 5.5 years, in federal prison after pleading guilty to three counts of interference with commerce by robbery. Rice was sentenced on Nov. 28 and Williams was sentenced on Jan. 11 by U.S. District Court Judge Sarah Evans Barker of the Southern District of Indiana. They were each ordered to be supervised by the U.S. Probation Office for three years following their release.

On April 23, 2023, Rice and Williams robbed a Subway restaurant in Beech Grove, 42 N. 17th Avenue. They approached employees, threatening them with weapons that appeared to be firearms and demanded cash. They obtained about $400, according to court documents.

About a week later, at about 5:15 p.m. April 30, the duo robbed Indy Smoke Time in Greenwood, 713 Fry Road. They brandished what appeared to be guns at employees, demanding cash and receiving $570. 45 minutes later the same day, they robbed an Indianapolis Family Dollar, 3021 W. Washington St., also brandishing firearms and leaving with an undisclosed amount of money, court documents say.

About 10 minutes after the last robbery, Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Officers saw Rice and Williams arrive at an apartment complex on the Central Canal in downtown Indianapolis. They saw the men throw gray trash bags into the canal, according to court documents.

When Williams was interviewed, he admitted that he threw the cash from the robberies into the canal after seeing police approach, federal prosecutors said. They were indicted by a grand jury on July 12, court documents show.

The FBI and IMPD investigated the case, which is part of Project Safe Neighborhoods. This program brings together all levels of law enforcement and the communities they serve to reduce violent crime and gun violence, and to make neighborhoods safer for everyone, according to a news release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Indiana.

Armed robbery is a serious offense that “puts innocent lives at risk for nothing more than a quick buck,” U.S. Attorney Zachary A. Myers said in a news release.

“These young men falsely believed they could terrorize and threaten law-abiding citizens and businesses without any repercussion,” Myers said. “We are grateful for the quick actions taken by IMPD and FBI to halt these criminals in their tracks and reduce the possibility of even more gun violence.”

Rice and Williams used guns to put “innocent people in fear for their lives” for the robberies, said Herb Stapleton, special agent in charge of the FBI’s Indianapolis office.

“The sentences imposed send a clear message that these are serious crimes and the people who utilize these violent acts will be held accountable,” Stapleton said in the news release. “Through continued collaboration with our partners, the FBI will work tirelessly to ensure the safety of our communities.”