LOS ANGELES – Two gang members were each sentenced Monday to a dozen years behind bars for carrying out an armed robbery at a Beverly Hills restaurant, where one customer was struck by gunfire and a $500,000 watch was stolen from another diner.
Khai McGhee, 18, and Malik L. Powell, 21, pleaded guilty in September to federal charges of conspiracy to interfere with commerce by robbery, interference with commerce by robbery, and using and discharging a firearm during a crime of violence.
A third man, 41-year-old Marquise Anthony Gardon, also a documented gang member from South Los Angeles, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to interfere with commerce by robbery and using a firearm in a crime of violence, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office. He is set to be sentenced Feb. 28.
The robbery occurred around 2:10 p.m. March 4, 2021, at Il Pastaio, a celebrity hangout on North Canon Drive. Responding officers found a woman who had been wounded by gunfire.
The victim, who was not the intended target, was taken to a hospital with non-life-threatening injuries.
During the robbery, a restaurant patron was held at gunpoint while he was robbed of his Richard Mille wristwatch, worth about $500,000.
A struggle for the gun ensued, during which two rounds were discharged from the firearm, striking the woman in a leg. The handgun was dropped during the struggle and the robbers fled the scene with the victim’s watch.
Prosecutors said Powell’s car — a black BMW — was used to bring the crew to and from the robbery, and his cell phone was tracked near Il Pastaio at the time of the robbery. Powell’s social media accounts also contained images of various guns and high-value wristwatches, authorities said.
McGhee’s DNA was found on the robbery victim’s clothing following the struggle for the gun, according to a court affidavit.
Surveillance footage showed Gardon getting out of the rear passenger seat and into the driver’s seat of the getaway car just before the robbery, and his cell phone was tracked near the restaurant at the time of the robbery, according to federal prosecutors.
Officials also said surveillance footage shows the men scouting the area prior to the robbery.