For Immediate Release
Last of Three Defendants Involved in Two Armed Robberies Sentenced to More than 17 Years in Prison
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. – A federal judge today sentenced the getaway driver in two armed robberies in Tuscaloosa, announced U.S. Attorney Jay E. Town and Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms Special Agent in Charge Marcus Watson.
U.S. District Judge L. Scott Coogler sentenced Jemarkus Vonsha Thompson, 25, of York, to 214 months in prison for Hobbs Act Robbery and carrying and brandishing a firearm during and in relation to a violent crime. Thompson was convicted by a federal jury in October 2019.
“Thompson’s involvement in this robbery as the “get-away driver” is treated no differently under our laws than those who placed innocent citizens at gunpoint,” Town said. “Thompson shares responsibility in this crime and he will share a cell in a federal penitentiary for 214 months as a result.”
“ATF’s Crime Gun Intelligence partnerships with the Tuscaloosa Police Department as part of Project Guardian, continue to focus on reducing violent crime by those individuals who commit armed robberies,” Watson said.
“The Tuscaloosa Police Department’s investigators, ATF’s agents, and the U.S. Attorney’s Office all worked very hard on this case,” said Captain Brad Mason, Tuscaloosa Police Department. “I am happy that we are able to bring this to a resolution where a violent criminal will be off of the streets for a long time. We would like to thank the ATF and the U.S. Attorney’s Office for their work on this case. We look forward to working together in the future.”
According to evidence at trial, Thompson was the driver of the suspect vehicle used to rob the Quick Stop Tobacco and Snack and Subway on Old Greensboro Road in Tuscaloosa. Watson and Rodgers robbed the two stores at gun point using an assault style rifle, while Thompson remained in the vehicle. Cell phone tower information placed Thompson at the scene of both crimes. Watson, Rodgers, and Thompson were stopped by Tuscaloosa police minutes after the robberies, where evidence of both crimes were found in their possession, including money, receipts, and the firearms.
Quartaius Deandrew Rodgers, 24, Cuba, Ala., pled guilty in July 2019. In November 2019, U.S. District Court L. Scott Coogler sentenced Rodgers to 95 months in prison for Hobbs Act Robbery and carrying and brandishing a firearm during and in relation to a violent crime.
Ladarius Maurice Watson, 23, Tuscaloosa, pled guilty in July 2019. In January, U.S. District Court Judge L. Scott Coogler sentenced Watson to 180 months in prison for Hobbs Act Robbery and carrying and brandishing a firearm during and in relation to a violent crime.
ATF investigated the case along with the Tuscaloosa Police Department, which Assistant U.S Attorney Brad Felton and Allison Garnett prosecuted.
The year 2020 marks the 150th anniversary of the Department of Justice. Learn more about the history of our agency at www.Justice.gov/Celebrating150Years.