We’ve all seen it: In every crime drama on television there’s an episode where the bad guys are betrayed by one of their own. Of course, in many of these cases, the informant usually gets their own comeuppance by way of some violent revenge.
This story is one that starts off with a car chase down one of the Eastern United State’s most famous highways, I-95…
It was barely 9am and helicopters were flying over I-95. Below them, four criminals were trying their utmost to make a clean getaway. The brave law enforcement agents on the ground and in the copters were on the lookout for a carful of criminals. Finally, the police caught up to the men, just shy of the State Road 714 exit.
As the police converged on the men and took them, handcuffed into custody, they tried to think how the fuzz had figured out their plan. The plan was to rob an armored car transporting cash from a PNC Bank in Port St. Lucie. The take would be a whopping $4 million in cash, The occupants of the car had contrived their scheme with the utmost secrecy, so how did the Feds already know?
The mastermind of this potentially lucrative scheme was a man named Daryl Canady. He and his fellow Riviera Beach associates had been planning the robbery for the better part of two years. Canady, who is known as “Doo-Doo” to his friends, insisted that they only bring one gun, in case things went sour.
Daryl thought about who else had been involved in the plan. They had involved one of the truck’s guards as well and were planning to split the money with him, while killing all the guards who weren’t in on it. Had the guard simply lost his nerve? Had he been the one to sell them out to the government?
The plan was simple. One person would take the cash from the armored truck and toss it to another who was waiting in a stolen truck. Meanwhile, Canady would stand outside, holding a gun to the guards and killing the ones who weren’t in on the scheme when it was all said and done.
More Guns Than Needed
Alger Lee Ellison, who was to take the money off the truck, decided he wanted to go against the “only one gun” rule just in case things went south. He had been in an out of prison since 2000 and was not about to let the police take him without a fight. They were hours away from being millionaires, and all that potential, the easiest score of their lives, had been ripped out from underneath them…
Wolf in the Fold
As it happened, the guard wasn’t the snitch at all. In fact, the man who was the FBI informant happened to be one of the men who had contrived the plan with Canady two years prior. His name was Chester Robinson and he had reached out to federal authorities because he was worried things might go wrong.
Robinson was no angel though. A 10-time convicted felon, he had gone through life amassing an impressive array of criminal charges already. Perhaps he just wanted to be out of the business so badly that even Canady’s “sure thing” didn’t entice him. Whatever the reason, Robinson agreed to wear a wire when he met with his fellow bank robbers…
The four people who planned to take part in the robbery were career criminals, but that didn’t mean they were stupid. They all agreed to do dry runs of the crime before they attacked the real armored car in February. Warrants were issued for their arrest but the FBI didn’t act right away, they had to catch them in the act.
Something Ain’t Right
When they had finished finalizing the plan, Canady and the rest of them got into a stolen truck and a Chevy Malibu. The federal agents, knowing that the time for the robbery was coming up quickly, told their men to follow the cars, but Canady decided that something didn’t feel right…
Helicopters from the Martin County Sheriff’s Office’s followed the men as they crossed into Martin County. They had been in the midst of doing a test run, but the authorities decided they had enough from Robinson to bring them in. More than a dozen FBI, Martin, Palm Beach and St. Lucie counties sheriff’s vehicles surrounded the men.
Hours before they were going to kill people and steal $4 million in cash, officials say, three of the men were taken into custody. The informant however, went home safe in the knowledge that he had helped to FBI to stop a robbery and brought criminals to justice. Truth be told, he had done what he had done to save his own behind…
Canady, Ellison and Martiavius Williams, the youngest of the group, were arrested on federal robbery charges and were detained at a Palm Beach County facility. As for the informant, Robinson wasn’t exactly out of the woods either. As it happened, his own crimes would prove too numerous to protect him entirely.
Some Time Later…
A month after giving up his friends to the FBI, the authorities returned to bring Chester Robinson, who apparently also goes by “Chester Huggin”, into custody. Apparently they had him on an attempted murder charge after shooting a man at a West Palm Beach-area apartment. He had been sold out by the men who he’d sold out…
Snitching on the Snitch
Martiavius Williams was one of the first to come forward and tell sheriff’s authorities about some of Robinson’s old schemes. In early February, though he had only recently been released from prison, Robinson and another man stole items worth $10,000 from a man.
The other man alluded to in the story was none other than robbery ringleader, Daryl Canady. The incident in question happened in the stairway of the Dyson Circle complex off Haverhill Road. This happened when both of them found a 57-year-old man walking by to “drop it off,” meaning that man’s gold jewelry. But that wasn’t all they did…
Robinson, who was in a second-floor hallway shot the man in the stomach, though he had been aiming for the man’s head. The two robbers then took their victim’s, gold chains, bracelets and watch.The upstairs neighbors said they heard gunshots and saw two men run toward a car and speed off.
Fleeing the Fuzz
The man however, was not dead. He survived his wounds and screamed for help. Eventually the neighbors brought the police who had him flown out to St. Mary’s Medical Center for emergency surgery, the sheriff’s office said….
During one of the recorded conversations, I might add that Robinson willing taped and handed over to the authorities, Canady mentioned the robbery. His reference to the yet-unsolved crime was that Robinson, “You shot that (expletive) in front of me, faces in play and everything…” This phrase meant they weren’t wearing masks either.
No one knows at this point if Robinson or his former criminal friends will plead guilty to the crimes for which they are all accused. That being said, Robinson’s recent arrest is a true and literal example of being “hoisted by one’s own petard.” Just goes to show that one bad turn deserves another and crime doesn’t pay.