CLEVELAND---Isiah ‘Speedy’ Taylor III, 43, 231 East Philadelphia and 732 Fairmont, Youngstown, whom police say was married and also had a girlfriend (with whom he has a child), faces up to life in prison following his convictions on Hobbs Act conspiracy and brandishing a firearm during a crime for his roles in more than 40 robberies in Ohio and Pennsylvania between 2001 and 2009, Steven M. Dettelbach, United States Attorney for the Northern District of Ohio said last Friday.
Police sources indicate that Taylor held gainful employment as a fork-lift operator at Ply Trim, 550 North Meridian Rd. in Youngstown, and in addition to his criminal activity and would split time between his wife and a girlfriend, frequently telling one woman he had to work overtime; and then spend time with the ‘other’ woman.
“This defendant had a long run spreading mayhem throughout our region but he was finally brought to justice,” Dettelbach said.
Taylor was convicted on four counts of Hobbs Act conspiracy and one count of brandishing a firearm during a crime following a jury trial before U.S. District Judge James Gwin. He is scheduled to be sentenced on Apr. 10.
The U.S. Attorney’s Office said that Taylor conducted detailed surveillance of businesses and locations to be robbed. He then recruited co-conspirators and provided them tools for the robbery, including ski masks, two-way radios and firearms, among other items. He also monitored police scanners during the robberies, according to court documents and trial testimony.
Taylor also facilitated the robberies by stealing cars to be used in the crime, setting up traffic cones to divert traffic and instructed co-conspirators how to use chemical spray to subdue victims, according to court documents and trial testimony.
Already convicted and sent to jail for their parts in the conspiracy with Taylor are Shane Tisdale, Jawalyn Hudson, Charles Queener, Sean Queener and Deshawn Hayden, all of the south side of Youngstown.
On Feb. 20, 2009, the Fairlawn Police Department made a field report on Taylor and Charles Queener.
According to Fairlawn PD, Taylor and Queener claimed they had left Cleveland en route to Youngstown, but had to stop in Fairlawn when a check-engine light came on in the 2001 Cadillac DeVille they were driving. The Fairlawn PD said both men said they were stopping along the way to visit Taylor’s girlfriend, “but did not know where she lived, or what city she lived in.”
Taylor then told the Fairlawn PD he walked to a nearby Wal-Mart to look for a public telephone.
A Fairlawn PD officer reported there were three cell phones in the DeVille.
On Mar. 26, 2009, Boardman police officer Ptl. Stephen Dubos, observed a car driven by Taylor driving around the parking lot of the Southern Park Mall. At that time, Taylor said he was on his way home from work.
Taylor was originally charged in the conspiracy on April Fool’s Day, 2009, when he was busted for a parole violation. (He had been convicted of a robbery-related charge in Pennsylvania prior to his parole). Authorities indicated Taylor’s and his co-conspirators netted upwards of $80,000 during their eight-year string of robberies.
According to reports sculled from a variety of police agencies, Taylor and his co-conspirators terrorized their victims.
For example, on Nov. 11, 2006, a Fuel Mart in Austintown was robbed.
At 2:27 a.m., a man entered the business and jumped over the counter brandishing a handgun demanding a female clerk put ‘all the money’ into a small duffel bag. After the woman complied, she was taken to a restroom and her hands were tied behind her back, then she was pepper-sprayed in the face.
According to police records, on Jan. 17, 2007, Austintown Police informed the Boardman PD that Shane Tisdale had admitted he took part in several robberies, including some in Boardman.
During one of the robberies, Tisdale told authorities he had dumped his car and then was picked-up by a man named ‘Speedy.’
On Jan. 18, 2007, Tisdale was interviewed by Ptl. Michael Sweeney of the Boardman PD.
“Tisdale said he was high on crack cocaine and heroin when he committed the robberies that were set up by a guy named Speedy,” Officer Sweeney reported.
Tisdale then identified Isiah ‘Speedy’ Taylor through mug shot photos, Sweeney said.
According to the interview with Officer Sweeney, Tisdale told police that Taylor would set-up the robberies, then help to steal a car and then provide Tisdale with a ski mask, airsoft pistol and two-way radio that would be used during the robberies.
Tisdale identified Taylor as setting-up a robbery at the Southern Park Mall on Oct. 30, 2006, saying after he and Taylor split the money, Taylor took him into Youngstown to buy crack cocaine and heroin.
Officer Sweeney also asked Tisdale about an attempted robbery at Wendy’s on South Ave. in Sept., 2006. Tisdale told police he and Taylor were involved in that effort.
Of note, and unrelated to the Hobbs Act conviction, Officer Sweeney also quizzed Tisdale about a robbery at Kentucky Fried Chicken, 6636 South Ave., on Feb. 19, 2001.
“Tisdale advised me that Taylor bragged about robbing KFC and raping a female employee,” Ptl. Sweeney said, adding he had inerviewed the female from KFC who denied being raped, and instead was “put in a cooler and told not to scream or she would be killed.”
Among the some of the robberies:
•Sept. 14, 2006, Wendy’s, 8541 South Ave., nothing reported stolen (a clerk ran from the drive-thru window when someone pulled-up in a stolen car and drew a gun on the clerk);
•Oct. 11, 2006, $900 from Dollar Tree, 1150 Doral Dr.;
•Oct. 19, 2006, $1340 from Rondinelli Tuxedo, 845 Boardman-Poland Rd.;
•Oct. 30, 2006, unspecified amount of money from a night deposit of Easy Spirit Shoes, Southern Park Mall, Boardman;
•Oct. 20, 2007, $2119 from Sbarro Pizza, 7401 Market St.;
•Jan. 14, 2008, $508 from the Dollar Tree at 1150 Doral Dr.;
•Jan. 23, 2008, $335 from Harbor Pet Center, 7338 Market St.;
•April 24, 2008, $154, Catherine’s, 1260 Boardman Poland Rd.;
•May 10, 2008, took money from Pizza Hut at 8535 South Ave., while using a firearm;
•Apr. 1, 2009, purse snatching ($40 in the purse), Purpose Money, 66 Boardman-Poland Rd,; and
•Another robbery was on Dec. 26, 2008, $3255, Belleria Pizza, 1010 Youngstown Poland Road, Struthers; (the robbery took place at the night deposit of Cortland Bank, 6538 South Ave., Boardman).
Taylor was originally charged in 2009, and the case took more than two years to prosecute. Investigation into the robberies was made more difficult because the robbers would use one car to speed away from the scene, then switch cars a short time later. Most of the getaway cars were stolen, Det. Glenn Patton, of the Boardman Police Department said.
The case began to unravel when some of Taylor’s associates were squeezed by law enforcement. Investigating one of the crimes, authorities found a receipt for an air gun and that receipt helped lead to Taylor’s arrest.
The case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Daniel J. Riedl and Christos N. Georgalis following an investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Boardman Police Department and Youngstown Police Department.
Det. Glenn Patton of the Boardman PD and Sgt. Mike Lambert of the Youngstown PD worked the case for the local departments.
In addition to the robberies in Boardman. Taylor and his co-conspirators have been linked to robberies in Niles, Kent, Liberty, Girard, Youngstown, Austintown, Niles, Alliance, Campbell, Hubbard, Akron, Warren, Canton, Struthers and Hermitage, Pa.