For Immediate Release
Jacksonville Felon Sentenced to More Than Eight Years for Committing Armed Robbery
Jacksonville, FL – U.S. District Judge Timothy J. Corrigan today sentenced Roderick Randolph Lester (39, Jacksonville) to eight years and four months in federal prison for robbery, possessing a firearm as a convicted felon, and for violating his federal supervised release. The court also ordered Lester to forfeit the firearm and ammunition used in the offense.
Lester pleaded guilty on February 8, 2018.
According to court documents, on September 26, 2016, Lester went to a tire store in Jacksonville and asked the clerk for a used tire. Lester was quoted a price, and then told the clerk that he should not have to pay for the tire because of his business relationship with the owner of the store. The clerk informed Lester that he would need to contact the store’s owner to verify that information; Lester then cursed at the clerk and stated that he was taking the tire. Lester loaded the tire into his truck, at which point the clerk attempted to take the tire from him. Lester then pulled a pistol from a holster on his waist, pointed it at the clerk, and stated that he was taking the tire.
Officers with the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office responded to the scene and apprehended Lester a few blocks from the tire store. A search of the scene revealed that Lester had discarded the pistol on top of a hedge nearby. The stolen tire was found in the back of Lester’s truck. During an interview with officers, Lester admitted that he had possessed the firearm and that he knew he was not allowed to carry firearms.
At the time of these incidents, Lester was on federal supervised release for a 2010 federal firearms conviction. He also had previous convictions for manslaughter, burglary, and an additional firearms possession charge, and therefore was prohibited by federal law from possessing firearms.
This case was investigated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives and the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office. It was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Laura Cofer Taylor.
This case was brought as part of Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), a program that has been successful in bringing together all levels of law enforcement to reduce violent crime and make our neighborhoods safer for everyone. In October 2017, Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced the reinvigoration of PSN and directed all U.S. Attorneys’ Offices to develop districtwide crime reduction strategies, incorporating the lessons learned since the program’s inception in 2001. In the Middle District of Florida, U.S. Attorney Maria Chapa Lopez coordinates PSN efforts in cooperation with various federal, state, and local law enforcement officials.