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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

THURSDAY - February 4, 2010

ROBBER FOUND GUILTY

WILMINGTON - United States Attorney George E.B. Holding announced that on January 29, 2010, a federal jury found DEXTER BROADNAX, 21, of Battleboro, North Carolina, guilty on 12 counts involving robbery and firearm charges. Specifically, BROADNAX was found guilty of conspiring to commit robberies of a business in interstate commerce, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 1951; aiding and abetting robbery of a business engaged in interstate commerce, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 1951, aiding and abetting the possession of a firearm in furtherance of a federal crime of violence, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 924(c); and unlawful possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Sections 922(g) and 924. Senior United States District Judge James C. Fox presided over the trial.

A Federal Grand Jury returned a Superseding Criminal Indictment on October 14, 2009. The investigation returned information that during a week in September, 2008, BROADNAX, along with co-defendants Johnny Draughn and Terrell Cooke, while brandishing firearms, robbed several convenience stores and gas stations. These robberies included the L&L Food Store in Sharpsburg, the New Dixie Mart #13 in Roanoke Rapids, the Village Grocery #2 in Gaston, the Blue Flame Gas station in Gaston, and the Salem and Sons Gas Station in Rocky Mount. During the last robbery, on September 23, 2008, they were apprehended. The robbery occurred at Roanoke Rapid’s Blue Flame Gas Station, where two men, brandishing firearms, demanded money and fled with $4,730.41. A witness arriving as the robbers fled the store gave police a description of the get-away vehicle, and officers were able to locate it minutes after the robbery. Draughn was in the vehicle where officers observed the money from the robbery. A further search of the car revealed money bags from the Blue Flame robbery in Gaston along with a Bryco 9mm semi-automatic pistol. BROADNAX was found near the gas station.

Mr. Holding commented, “We are gratified by the decision of the jury. These defendants engaged in a very grievous and dangerous series of robberies. Their actions greatly affected local businesses and caused citizens to fear for their safety. We look forward to completing our work at sentencing.”

Draughn and Cooke pled guilty in January of this year.

Sentencing is scheduled for April 26, 2010.

This case was part of the Project Safe Neighborhoods(PSN) which encourages federal, state, and local agencies to cooperate in a unified “team effort” against gun crime, targeting repeat offenders who continually plague their communities.

Investigation of this case was conducted by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives; the Roanoke Rapids Police Department; the Sharpsburg Police Department; the Gaston Police Department and the Rocky Mount Police Department. Assistant United States Attorney Jane Jackson represented the government.

News releases are available on the U. S. Attorney’s web page at www.usdoj.gov/usao/nce within 48 hours of release.

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