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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Eastern District of North Carolina

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Third Sonic Robber Sentenced

RALEIGH - United States Attorney Thomas G. Walker announced that in federal court today Chief United States District Judge James C. Dever III, sentenced JAMES LEE WOODARD, 24, of Jacksonville, North Carolina, to 60 months imprisonment followed by three years supervised release. 

A Federal Grand Jury returned a Criminal Indictment on August 15, 2012 charging WOODARD.  On January 22, 2013, WOODARD pled guilty to conspiring to commit robbery of a business engaged in interstate commerce, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 1951.

According to the investigation, on April 11, 2011, the Sonic Drive-In on Lejeune Boulevard in Jacksonville, North Carolina, was robbed as the night manager and co-defendant, Katie Rivera, and another employee were closing the business for the night.  Two masked men entered the business through the back door.  The robbers proceeded directly to the employee, assaulted him and forced him to the floor.  One suspect told Rivera to place all the money in the backpack.  After collecting the money, the robbers fled the business.  The investigation revealed that Rivera and WOODARD had been dating and she was aware of the plans to rob the restaurant. 

Rivera, 25, of Jacksonville, North Carolina, was charged with conspiring to rob a business engaged in interstate commerce, in October, 2011, in a one-count Criminal Indictment. She pled guilty to that charge on February 21, 2012. At her January 20, 2013, sentencing she received 28 months imprisonment followed by three years supervised release. 

The other individual involved in the robbery was Mathew Brian Goodale, 24, also of Jacksonville, North Carolina, who was charged in a two-count Criminal Indictment with robbery of a business engaged in interstate commerce, in June, 2012.  On August 22, 2012, Goodale pled guilty and was sentenced on January 28, 2013, to 30 months imprisonment followed by three years supervised release.  The Court ordered all the defendants to pay restitution in the amount of $4,200.

Investigation of this case was conducted by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and the Jacksonville Police Department.  Assistant United States Attorneys Jane J. Jackson prosecuted the case.

Updated July 14, 2015