DOJ Seal

Department of Justice

U.S. Attorney's Office
Eastern District of North Carolina

For Immediate Release

Thursday, March 22, 2018
Robert J. Higdon, Jr.
, United States Attorney
Contact: Don Connelly

Kinston Man Sentenced to More Than 13 Years for Hobbs Act Robbery and Gun Charge

NEW BERN – Robert J. Higdon, Jr., United States Attorney for the Eastern District of North Carolina, announced that on Tuesday in Federal court, O’BRIEN SHAQUILLE HOOKER, 26, of Kinston, was sentenced by United States District Judge Louise W. Flanagan to 166 months imprisonment followed by 5 years of supervised release.

HOOKER was named in a three-count indictment on March 7, 2017. On October 10, 2017, HOOKER pled guilty to Conspiracy to Commit Interference with Commerce by Robbery, Interference with Commerce by Robbery and Aiding and Abetting, and Discharging a Firearm during and in relation to a Crime of Violence and Aiding and Abetting.

On May 9, 2016, HOOKER and codefendant Devon Waters, who pled guilty and is awaiting sentencing on May 22, 2018, committed an armed robbery at a Family Dollar located in Goldsboro, North Carolina. The men forced two employees, who were closing the business, into the store at gunpoint. HOOKER brandished a firearm and ordered the employees onto the floor. Waters then ordered one of them to open the safe. When she had difficulty, Waters took the firearm from HOOKER, fired a shot at her feet, and threatened to kill her. Waters and HOOKER stole currency totaling $800 and cigarettes. Seeing a Goldsboro Police Department (GPD) vehicle pull into the parking lot, Waters and HOOKER forced an employee at gunpoint to the rear of the business, where they exited. As they fled, they fired additional shots at the pursuing officer.

Waters and HOOKER fled the scene in a vehicle driven by a third person. The vehicle drove to a residential neighborhood, where Waters and HOOKER jumped out of the vehicle and fled on foot. A GPD K9 unit found and arrested them in a nearby backyard.

This case was brought as part of Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), a program that has been historically successful in bringing together all levels of law enforcement to reduce violent crime and make our neighborhoods safer for everyone. Attorney General Jeff Sessions has made turning the tide of rising violent crime in America a top priority. In October 2017, as part of a series of actions to address this crime trend, Attorney General Sessions announced the reinvigoration of PSN and directed all U.S. Attorney’s Offices to develop a district crime reduction strategy that incorporates the lessons learned since PSN launched in 2001.

The case was investigated by the Goldsboro Police Department and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms & Explosives (ATF).

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Field Division: Charlotte Field Division