ATF

Sample Block


Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives

99 N.E. Fourth Street
Miami, Florida 33132

(305) 961-9001

www.justice.gov/usao/fls

For Immediate Release

March 2, 2010

Jeffrey H. Sloman, United States Attorney

(305) 961-9001

Martin County Men Sentenced to Lengthy Prison Terms for Series of Armed Robberies

Jeffrey H. Sloman, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Florida, Hugo Barrera, Special Agent in Charge, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF), Joyce Dawley, Special Agent in Charge, Florida Department of Law Enforcement, Edward M. Morley, Chief, Stuart Police Department, William McCollom, Chief, Tequesta Police Department, Frank J. Kitzerow, Chief, Jupiter Police Department, Donald Shinnamon, Chief, Port St. Lucie Police Department, R. Sean Baldwin, Chief, Fort Pierce Police Department, Ken J. Mascara, Sheriff, St. Lucie County Sheriff’s Office, and Robert L. Crowder, Sheriff, Martin County Sheriff’s Office, announce that Michael Shane Ragland and Deshawn Kenneth James were sentenced on March 1, 2010, by U.S. District Court Judge K. Michael Moore. The defendants were found guilty by a jury for their participation in a series of armed robberies and for use of a firearm during a crime of violence in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Sections 1951 and 924(c), respectively.

Ragland was sentenced to 2352 months (196 years) imprisonment, followed by three years supervised release. James was sentenced to 1017 months (84.75 years) imprisonment, followed by five years supervised release. Four additional members of this group previously entered pleas of guilty and were each sentenced to terms of imprisonment.

On March 16, 2009, a year long multi-agency investigation spearheaded by Florida Department of Law Enforcement and the Stuart Police Department resulted in the arrest of six members of an armed robbery group based in the Hobe Sound area. The six members were responsible for ten (10) armed robberies of convenience stores from Jupiter to Fort Pierce, Florida. The robberies were committed from December 11, 2007 to February 22, 2008.

The following are a list of the known convenience stores robbed by members of the group:

  • On December 11, 2007, at approximately 09:10 p.m., an armed robbery took place at the Right Way Foods located at 1880 SE Palm Beach Road, Stuart, Florida
  • On December 14, 2007, at approximately 03:07 p.m., an armed robbery took place at the Island Beverage located at 9128 SE Bridge Road, Hobe Sound, Florida.
  • On January 12, 2008, at approximately 09:46 p.m., an armed robbery took place at the Shell Gas Station located at 1308 SE Federal Highway, Stuart, Florida.
  • On January 27, 2008, at approximately 10:02 p.m., an armed robbery took place at the Texaco Gas Station located at 11010 SE Federal Highway, Hobe Sound, Florida.
  • On February 2, 2008, at approximately 10:43 p.m., an armed robbery took place at the A & M Discount Beverage located at 200 S Whitney Drive, Jupiter, Florida.
  • On February 18, 2008, at approximately 10:04 p.m., an armed robbery took place at the Stop & Shop Food Store located at 391 Seabrook Road, Tequesta, Florida.
  • On February 20, 2008, at approximately 11:54 p.m., an armed robbery took place at the Shell Gas Station located at 2799 N US Highway 1, Fort Pierce, Florida.
  • On February 22, 2008, at approximately 01:34 a.m., an armed robbery took place at the Chevron Gas Station located at 1780 SW Saint Lucie West Boulevard, Port Saint Lucie, Florida.

Mr. Sloman commended the investigative efforts of the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, Stuart Police Department, Tequesta Police Department, Jupiter Police Department, Port Saint Lucie Police Department, Fort Pierce Police Department, St. Lucie County Sheriff’s Office, Martin County Sheriff’s Office, and the ATF. The case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Rinku Tribuiani and Carmen Lineberger.

A copy of this press release may be found on the website of the United States Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Florida at www.usdoj.gov/usao/fls. Related court documents and information may be found on the website of the District Court for the Southern District of Florida at http://www.flsd.uscourts.gov or on http://pacer.flsd.uscourts.gov.

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