Three Federally Charged for Armed Robbery of Columbia Postal Carrier
COLUMBIA, SOUTH CAROLINA — Don Everett Peters, III, a/k/a “Pop,” 21, and Shylik Lamont Smalls, a/k/a “Mitch,” 22, both of Columbia, and Elijah Rasue Dewayne Ellis, a/k/a “Smoke,” a/k/a “Black,” 21, of Valdosta, Georgia, all appeared in federal court in Columbia for their first appearance on federal complaints charging them with conspiracy to commit armed robbery of a postal carrier, armed robbery of a postal carrier, and theft/possession of a postal arrow key.
The charges stem from an incident in Columbia on March 17, 2022, where a United States Postal carrier was robbed at gunpoint.
All three face a maximum penalty of 25 years imprisonment on the armed robbery charge, five years on the conspiracy charge, and 10 years on the theft/possession of the arrow key charge. They are all currently detained.
This case was prosecuted as part of the joint federal, state, and local Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN) Program, the centerpiece of the Department of Justice’s violent crime reduction efforts. PSN is an evidence-based program proven to be effective at reducing violent crime. Through PSN, a broad spectrum of stakeholders work together to identify the most pressing violent crime problems in the community and develop comprehensive solutions to address them. As part of this strategy, PSN focuses enforcement efforts on the most violent offenders and partners with locally based prevention and reentry programs for lasting reductions in crime.
The case was investigated by the United States Postal Inspection Service and the Columbia Police Department. Assistant U.S. Attorney Stacey D. Haynes and Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Lamar Fyall are prosecuting the case.
U.S. Attorney Corey F. Ellis stated that all charges in the criminal complaint are merely accusations and that defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.