New Orleans man found guilty in connection with murder of armored guard
Published 6:37 am Friday, April 1, 2022
NEW ORLEANS, LA – United States Attorney Duane A. Evans announced today that CURTIS JOHNSON, JR., 30, of New Orleans, was found guilty today after a four-day jury trial before U.S. District Judge Lance M. Africk.
The jury found JOHNSON guilty as charged in the second superseding indictment for Conspiracy to Obstruct and Obstruction of Commerce by Robbery, Murder, and Violations of the Federal Gun Control Act. He will be sentenced on July 13, 2022. JOHNSON faces a maximum term of life imprisonment.
In November 2019, co-defendants Jeremy Esteves and Robert Brumfield III were found guilty by a jury at trial, while co-defendants Lilbear George, Chukwudi Ofomata, and Jasmine Theophile previously pleaded guilty. George and Ofomata were sentenced to a 480-month term of imprisonment. Esteves, Brumfield and Theophile will be sentenced on April 6, 2022.
According to court documents, on the morning of December 18, 2013, CURTIS JOHNSON, JR., along with co-defendants, George, Ofomata, and Jeremy Esteves, robbed a Loomis armored vehicle as it was making a delivery of approximately $265,000 to the Chase Bank at the intersection of S. Carrollton and S. Claiborne Avenues. As the Loomis guard, Hector Trochez, prepared to make the delivery, George and Ofomata, both armed, exited the vehicle (a Chevy Tahoe stolen by George in preparation for the robbery), and ordered Trochez to give up the money. Trochez pulled his weapon and fired at the robbers. Ofomata and George fired their weapons in Trochez’s direction. JOHNSON fired at the Loomis truck to keep the driver inside. Trochez was fatally struck on the left side of his forehead and suffered a graze wound to his elbow. One of the robbers ran towards the rear of the Loomis truck and took possession of the money bag before re-entering the Tahoe. The robbers fled the Chase Bank parking lot.
A witness seated in a vehicle at the corner of S. Claiborne and S. Carrollton Avenues observed the shooting and provided a description of the shooters and the vehicle they occupied. That witness followed the Chevy Tahoe as it fled the location of the shooting/robbery. During the vehicle’s flight, one of the shooters fired at the witness’s vehicle in an attempt to deter the witness from following. The witness observed the Chevy Tahoe arrive in the 1700 block of Adams Street and saw the four robbers exit the Chevy Tahoe and enter the awaiting Honda Accord driven by Brumfield. The Honda Accord fled the Adams Street location, leaving the Chevy Tahoe behind.
The Tahoe was recovered by the New Orleans Police Department and searched pursuant to a federal search warrant. During the search, FBI agents observed that the steering wheel column of the vehicle had been breached. Agents located two screwdrivers on the floorboard and a bandana on the console. The items were collected and submitted for DNA testing at the Louisiana State Police Crime Laboratory. An unknown DNA profile, later confirmed to be that of George, was recovered from one of the screwdrivers. Likewise, the DNA recovered from the bandana was confirmed to be that of CURTIS JOHNSON, Jr.
U.S. Attorney Evans praised the work of the Federal Bureau of Investigation along with the New Orleans Police Department and the Louisiana State Police. Assistant United States Attorneys Brittany L. Reed, Gregory M. Kennedy, and Inga Petrovich prosecuted the matter.