Three 22-year-olds have been charged with targeting pharmacy chains in a series of 10 robberies across Long Beach and Los Angeles County, according to federal prosecutors.

Makai Yusef Sanders and Kenyatta Kamar Jones—who both live in Hawthorne—and Diavion Deshawna Mouton, of Carson, were taken into custody last month and have since been charged with one count each of Hobbs Act robbery and using and carrying a firearm during a crime of violence, according to a criminal complaint filed on Oct. 6.

Prosecutors allege the trio’s string of crimes began in Long Beach on Aug. 9. when they robbed a Rite Aid in the 3300 block of Anaheim Street. Over the next six weeks, they then robbed nine other stores in other cities, including a Rite Aid in Bellflower and a Walgreens at 5913 E Carson Street in Lakewood, authorities allege.

Typically, the trio would wait until about an hour before the store closed when Sanders and Jones would go inside with handguns, according to the complaint.

Sanders and Jones would steal cellphones from workers and customers inside the store before heading to the staffing offices and taking money from the safes, according to the criminal complaint. In some instances, Sander and Jones would assault and injure their victims, authorities said.

Mouton, meanwhile, served as their getaway driver, authorities said.

During one particular robbery at a Walgreens in Glendale about a week before their arrest, Sanders and Jones allegedly stole more than $700 from the cash registers, along with four iPhones, federal prosecutors said.

Mouton then drove them away in a white Honda Civic that had been rented using a car-sharing company, authorities said. 

A robber, presumed to be Makai Sanders by authorities, at a Walgreens on Sept. 19, 2023. Photo courtesy of the United States Department of Justice.

Eventually, investigators were able to use, surveillance footage, phone records and GPS data to identify the trio as suspects in the robberies, authorities said.

At the time of their arrests, Jones and Sanders were in possession of handguns consistent with the weapons used in the Walgreens robbery, federal prosecutors said, adding that investigators also found clothing that matched what the suspects were wearing at the time of the crime.

Sanders, Jones and Mouton will make their first appearance today in U.S. District Court in Downtown Los Angeles after being transferred from state to federal custody.

They could each face 20 years in federal prison if convicted of the Hobbs Act robbery count and up to life in federal prison if convicted of the firearm allegations, authorities said.