Agents arrest eight on federal robbery charges

Friday, December 16, 2011 at 5:16pm
Staff reports

Eight Nashville-area residents were arrested today following a federal complaint filed this morning that charged them with conspiracy to commit Hobbs Act robbery.

The Hobbs Act prohibits robbery or extortion that affects interstate or foreign commerce and is commonly used in federal robbery cases. The charges stem from two violent home invasions that occurred in Elmwood, Tenn., and La Vergne in June.

Those charged in connection with both home invasions were: Manila Vichitvongsa, 25, of Nashville; Nickless Whitson, 33, of Antioch; Sithana Keonoi, 25, of La Vergne; Jatavius Sanders, 21, of Antioch; and Beth Keonoi, 20, of Ashland City.

Jessica Parker, 22, of Camden, Tenn., is charged in connection with the La Vergne home invasion only. William Blake Byrd, 26, and Angela Whitson, 37, both of Antioch, are charged in connection with the home invasion in Elmwood.

“The U.S. Attorney’s Office and our law enforcement partners will work tirelessly to identify, apprehend and prosecute those who commit such violent acts in our communities,” U.S. Attorney Jerry Martin said. “We will not stand for these acts of violence and these arrests should send a clear message that we are committed to seeking justice for those responsible.”

All defendants were in custody as of Friday afternoon and face up to 20 years in prison as well as a $250,000 fine.