WASHINGTON (DC News Now) — An indictment was unsealed Wednesday charging 16 members of a violent crime ring responsible for multiple armed carjackings, robberies, money laundering and firearm defenses. Eight members were arrested Aug. 30, while the remaining defendants were already arrested.

According to a news release from the Department of Justice, between Jan. 7, 2022, through Jan. 27, 2023, the group conspired in D.C. to commit robberies in New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Virginia and Florida, targeting jewelry stores owned by Asian Americans.

“The defendants targeted small businesses along the East Coast, stealing hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of jewelry from hardworking families,” Assistant Director in Charge, David Sundberg, stated in the news release.

The group was led by Trevor Wright, also known as “Taliban Glizzy.”

Conspirators disguised themselves in dark clothes, masks and gloves, and armed themselves with guns. One or more of the defendants used vehicles – including stolen vehicles – to commit and flee from the robberies.

There were about nine robberies in just over a year.

“This indictment alleges a conspiracy to engage in a violent armed robbery spree involving commercial establishments throughout the Eastern Seaboard,” U.S. Attorney Matthew Graves stated in the news release. “One defendant is also charged with conspiracy to commit carjacking as part of the spree, and others are charged with laundering the proceeds from the robberies.”

Searches resulted in the seizure of multiple guns and nearly $300,000 from a safe in one of the homes.

The FBI worked for 20 months with partners across state lines to connect the defendants to these heists.

Charges against the group include conspiracy to interfere with interstate commerce, using a firearm in furtherance of a violent crime, conspiracy to commit carjacking and others.