FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
TUESDAY - December 6, 2011
TEEN GANG MEMBER SENTENCED FOR ROBBERIES
RALEIGH - United States Attorney Thomas G. Walker announced that in federal court today Senior United States District Judge W. Earl Britt sentenced KEITH MASON, 18, of Raleigh, North Carolina, to 228 months’ imprisonment followed by five years’ supervised release. Additionally, the Court imposed restitution in the amount of $24,987.00.
A Federal Grand Jury returned a Criminal Indictment on July 5, 2011, charging MASON and his co-conspirator, Cawajalin Kavin McNeil. On September 6, 2011, MASON pled guilty to conspiring to rob a business engaged in interstate commerce, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 1951, and using and carrying a firearm during and in relation to a federal crime of violence, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 924(c).
According to the investigation, on the evening of August 25, 2010, MASON and McNeill, along with co-defendants Kwame Shaquille Bellamy and Joseph Nadir Nelson, drove to the Shop N Gas convenience store located on NC Hwy 42 East in Kenly, North Carolina. McNeill and Nelson entered the store armed with handguns and robbed the store, while MASON and Bellamy stayed outside in the car. After taking the money, McNeill shot the store clerk. They left the store with $700.00. The clerk survived but sustained permanent injuries.
Later that same night, the four drove to the Shop N Gas Convenience Store located at NC Hwy 39 in Zebulon. MASON and Bellamy entered the store armed with pistols, while Nelson and McNeill stayed in the car outside the store. Jumping over the counter, MASON took $99.00. During the robbery a scuffle occurred in which the clerk was shot. The clerk has recovered.
McNeill pled guilty on September 6, 2011, to conspiring to rob a business engaged in interstate commerce and using and carrying a firearm during and in relation to a federal crime of violence. Sentencing is currently set for January 3, 2012.
Nelson and Bellamy were charged for their parts in the robberies. Both have been sentenced, receiving a 288-month term of imprisonment. Additionally, restitution was imposed of $24,989.70.
This case was part of the Project Safe Neighborhoods(PSN) initiative 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 Raleigh Police Department, the Johnston County Sheriff’s Office and the Johnston County District Attorney’s Office. Assistant United States Attorney Jane Jackson represented the government.