RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — A man and a woman were sentenced in federal court for their involvement in the armed robberies of two Richmond dollar stores in 2022.

Michael Brown, 41, and Rashanda Booker, 38, were sentenced to a combined 24.5 years in prison for their role in two armed robberies in 2022.

According to the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ), Brown and Booker — along with co-defendant 41-year-old Ricardo Horne — robbed a Family Dollar located at 7 East 16th Street on April 17, 2022. They also robbed a Dollar General located at 3903 Walmsley Boulevard on April 28, 2022.

The Family Dollar robbery

“On April 17, 2022, Horne and Brown forcefully grabbed a Family Dollar employee as he sought to empty trash prior to the store opening,” a DOJ spokesperson said. “Brown, holding a semiautomatic pistol that belonged to his sister, guided the employee to a safe inside the store and held him at gunpoint near the safe while emptying it.”

According to court documents, Brown retrieved the money — an estimated $10,000 — while Horne stood watch and maintained control over a customer and another Family Dollar employee.

After the robbery Brown and Horne reportedly used the money to buy high-end shoes at a boutique shoe store.

The Dollar General robbery

Horne and Brown reportedly told Booker to buy a new pistol ahead of the second robbery. She bought a semiautomatic pistol on April 22, 2022.

Less than a week later, on April 28, 2022, Horne entered a Dollar General with Brown who was carrying Booker’s semiautomatic pistol.

“After Horne grabbed control of one of the employees, the two men took her to find the Dollar General manager who could open the safe,” the DOJ spokesperson said. “Brown held the manager at gunpoint near the safe while Horne maintained control of the other employee. Notably, several customers, including a woman and her young son, were shopping in the store at the time of the robbery.”

After collecting the money, Brown an Horne exited the store and got into Booker’s Blue Toyota sedan. With Booker serving as the getaway driver, Brown and Horne changed into different clothing.

Some of the money which was stolen from the Dollar General had a GPS tracker inside of it. Law enforcement followed the tracker and after finding the robbers in Booker’s car, performed a search. The following items were recovered by law enforcement:

  • Clothes worn by Brown and Horne during the Dollar General robbery
  • A Taurus G3c semi-automatic 9mm handgun
  • A Family Dollar bag

Brown was sentenced to 19.5 years in prison and Booker was sentenced to five years in prison on on Thursday, Sept. 22, 2023. Horne was previously sentenced on April 13 to 12 years in prison.