COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) — A grand jury indicted two men — both already accused of involvement in a shooting on Interstate 70 that seriously injured a Columbus police officer — on charges related to three earlier armed robberies, according to U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Ohio Kenneth Parker.
Aden Jama, 20, of Reynoldsburg, and Faisal M. Darod, 23, of Columbus, pleaded not guilty on July 25 to charges of aiding and abetting bank robbery and the use of a firearm in a crime of violence, according to court records.
Less than three weeks earlier, on July 6, a police pursuit began around 2 p.m. after several law enforcement agencies had responded to reports of an armed robbery at a Porsche dealership in Whitehall, according to Columbus police. There, three men allegedly demanded the keys to a black Porsche SUV and drove it to rob the Hilliard South branch of Fifth Third Bank on the city’s west side, police said.
The series of crimes culminated in the pursuit and eventual shootout on I-70 near West Mound Street — which left the third suspect dead and a police officer in Grant Medical Center for nearly three weeks.
The jury has since indicted Darod for his alleged role in stealing PlayStations from the GameStop on Hilliard Rome Road on June 21, a Corvette from the Auto Gallery dealership on Westerville Road on July 3, and at least $75,000 from a different Fifth Third Bank branch — in Upper Arlington — on July 5.
Jama was indicted for his alleged role in the Upper Arlington bank robbery the day prior to the shootout — where the men made off with more than $85,000, according to Parker.
In sum, Darod faces five counts of aiding and abetting a robbery and four counts of aiding and abetting the use of a firearm during a robbery, while Jama faces an accessory charge, two counts of aiding and abetting a robbery, and two counts of aiding and abetting the use of a firearm during a robbery.
If they are convicted, the firearm charges alone come with a sentence ranging from five years in prison to life in prison, according to Parker.