Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Northern District of Georgia
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, March 24, 2016
Leader of Atlanta ATM Machine Theft Ring Sentenced
ATLANTA – Ovino Harris has been sentenced to 10 years, 10 months in federal prison for attempting to rob the Wellesley Inn Atlanta Airport Hotel, in what was believed to be one of a string of ATM machine thefts in the Atlanta, Georgia, area.
“Harris and his group were so audacious that they even threatened to shoot a hotel clerk in order to steal an ATM,” said U. S. Attorney John Horn. “This group has been dismantled thanks to the tremendous work of the Atlanta Police Department and the FBI.”
“The sentencing of Mr. Harris to federal prison will not only hold him accountable for his criminal actions as well as removing him from our streets, but it also clearly illustrates that Atlanta law enforcement will bring all of its resources to bear in addressing these aggressive theft rings,” said J. Britt Johnson, Special Agent in Charge, FBI Atlanta Field Office.
“Each time we’re able to get a criminal off the streets, it’s a good day,” said Atlanta Police Chief George Turner. “The arrest and conviction of Ovino Harris is yet another example of why the partnership between the Atlanta Police Department and the FBI is critical to making Atlanta the safest big city in the nation.”
According to U.S. Attorney Horn, the charges and other information presented in court: Harris was believed to be the leader of a group known as the “Green Team,” that operated out of the Pittsburgh area of Atlanta and engaged in various criminal activities including the theft of ATM machines from local businesses. Green Team members would frequently break into closed businesses, attach chains or ropes to an ATM machine while attaching the other end to a van or truck, and pull the ATM machine from the store.
During the early morning hours of December 4, 2013, however, Harris traveled to the Wellesley Inn Atlanta Airport Hotel where he and four other Green Team members attempted to steal the ATM machine from within the hotel lobby by threatening to shoot the hotel clerk. Law enforcement was called to the area, and the men fled before they could be apprehended.
Then, on December 22, 2013, and again on December 27, 2013, members of the Green Team traveled to the CVS Pharmacy located on North Highland Avenue in Atlanta where they attempted to steal the ATM machine from inside the store. Harris was arrested and arraigned on July 9, 2014.
Ovino Harris, 35, of Atlanta, Georgia, has been sentenced by United States District Judge Amy Totenberg to 10 years, 10 months in prison to be followed by three years of supervised release. Harris was convicted on these charges on December 15, 2015, after he pleaded guilty. All of Harris’ co-defendants have also pled guilty in this matter. Five of Harris’ co-defendants have already been sentenced, with one additional co-defendant awaiting sentencing.
This case was investigated by the Atlanta Police Department and Federal Bureau of Investigation.
Assistant United States Attorneys Matthew S Carrico and Kim S. Dammers prosecuted the case.
For further information please contact the U.S. Attorney’s Public Affairs Office at USAGAN.PressEmails@usdoj.govEmail or (404) 581-6016.