COLUMBIA, S.C. (WJBF) – Three men plead guilty to armed robbery of a Columbia Postal Carrier.

According to the Department of Justice District of South Carolina, 20-year-old Don Everett Peters III, 21-year-old Shylik Lamont Smalls, both Columbia, S.C. natives and 20-year-old Elijah Rasue Dewayne Ellis of Valdosta, Ga have each pleaded guilty to their roles in the March 17, 2022, armed robbery of a United States Postal Letter Carrier in Columbia.

Peters, Smalls, and Ellis each pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit armed robbery of a USP Letter Carrier, assault/armed robbery of a USP Letter Carrier, and theft/possession of a USP arrow key. Peters and Smalls also each pleaded guilty to theft/possession of United States mail.

Based on evidence obtained in the investigation, it was revealed that Peters, Smalls, and Ellis conspired to rob a postal carrier of his arrow key, which would give them access to locked mail collection boxes. 

On the afternoon of March 17, 2022, after surveilling another postal carrier in the Hollywood-Rose Hill/Rosewood area of Columbia, the trio decided to rob a letter carrier making his rounds on Hollywood Drive. While Peters waited in the getaway car, Smalls and Ellis while wearing masks approached the carrier. Ellis pointed a gun at the carrier and demanded his keys and Peters then picked up the two co-conspirators and they fled the area.

The three men will face a maximum penalty of 25 years in prison on the assault/armed robbery of the postal carrier charge, a maximum of 10 years in prison on the theft/possession of an arrow key charge, and a maximum of 5 years in prison on both the conspiracy and the theft/possession of mail charges.

They each also face a fine of up to $250,000 for each charge, restitution, and up to 5 years of supervision to follow the term of imprisonment. United States District Judge Mary Geiger Lewis accepted the guilty pleas and will sentence the trio after receiving and reviewing sentencing reports prepared by the U.S. Probation Office.