ATF

Sample Block


Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives

Middle District of Florida

www.justice.gov/usao/flm

For Immediate Release

March 2, 2012

Robert E. O’Neill, United States Attorney

Contact: William Daniels
(813) 274-6388
william.daniels@usdoj.gov

Four Tampa Men and One Woman Sentenced to Federal Prison for Multiple Armed Robberies

Tampa, FL – U.S. Attorney Robert E. O’Neill announces that U.S. District Judge Virginia Hernandez Covington yesterday sentenced Antonio Cortez Harris, Jr. (22, Tampa), Rykeith Andre Levatte (25, Tampa), and Alden Bernard Lewis (28, Tampa) each to thirty-two years in federal prison and sentenced Antoine Markeist Harris (21, Tampa) to 235 months (19 years, 7 months) in federal prison for using a firearm in connection with the May 25, 2010 robbery of a 7-Eleven Store in Pinellas Park, Florida and the May 26, 2010 robbery of a 7-Eleven Store in Gibsonton, Florida. Judge Covington also sentenced Daisy Louise Thomas (32, Tampa) to seventeen years in federal prison for the May 11, 2010 robbery of the "All About You Hair Salon" in New Port Richey, Florida, for using a firearm to commit the offense, and for conspiracy to commit robberies. All five defendants were also sentenced to a five year term of supervised release following their incarceration.

Antoine Harris, Antonio Harris, Levatte, and Lewis all pled guilty on November 1, 2011. Thomas was found guilty after a jury trial on November 17, 2011.

According to testimony and evidence presented at trial, on May 11, 2010, Thomas, Rykeith Levatte, and another accomplice entered the "All About You Hair Salon" in New Port Richey, Florida wearing disguises and brandishing firearms. Upon entering the store, they pointed firearms at the employees and a customer in the salon and demanded money. They then ordered the victims to the floor and took approximately $200 in cash and credit cards belonging to a victim.

On May 24, 2010, Levatte, Lewis, and another accomplice committed an armed robbery of King’s Grocery in Tampa, Florida, while wearing disguises and brandishing firearms. Thomas was the getaway driver.

According to court documents, on May 25, 2010, while wearing disguises and brandishing firearms, Antoine Harris, Antonio Harris, Levatte, and Lewis robbed a 7-Eleven Store in Pinellas Park, Florida. Levatte ordered the store clerk to open the cash registers, while holding the barrel of a gun to the clerk's neck. The robbers took approximately $165 in cash from the registers and then fled from the store.

On May 26, 2010, Antoine Harris, Antonio Harris, Levatte, and Lewis entered a 7-Eleven Store in Gibsonton, Florida, wearing disguises and brandished firearms. Levatte ordered the store clerk to open the cash registers register, while pointing a gun at the clerk's head. Antonio Harris also pointed his gun at the clerk. They took approximately $215 in cash from the registers and then fled from the store.

As part of the sentences, the court also ordered Antoine Harris, Antonio Harris, Levatte, and Lewis to pay restitution of $1,932 and Daisy Thomas to pay restitution of $200 to the victims. The court also ordered Antoine Harris to forfeit a Glock 9mm semi-automatic pistol, which was used in the robberies.

The four armed robberies detailed above were part of a string of ten armed robberies committed by the above individuals and Arquives McNeal across the Middle District of Florida - including the May 26, 2010 robberies of a 7-Eleven in Tampa, Florida, a Hess Gas station in New Port Richey, Florida, and a 7-Eleven in New Port Richey, Florida; the May 28, 2010 robbery of a 7-Eleven in Lakeland, Florida; the May 28, 2010 attempted robbery of a Circle-K in Tampa, Florida; and the June 3, 2010 robbery of a Mobil Gas Station in Land O' Lakes, Florida.

This case was investigated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF), the Tampa Police Department, Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office, the Pasco County Sheriff’s Office, the Lakeland Police Department, the New Port Richey Police Department, the Pinellas Park Police Department, and the Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE). It was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Jennifer Peresie and Jay Hoffer.

It is another case prosecuted as a part of the Department of Justice’s Project Safe Neighborhoods program – a nationwide, gun-violence reduction strategy led by ATF. United States Attorney Robert E. O’Neill, along with Virginia O'Brien, Special Agent in Charge, ATF, is coordinating the Project Safe Neighborhoods effort here in the Middle District of Florida in cooperation with federal, state, and local law enforcement officials.

###