News and Press Releases


FRIDAY - March 18, 2011


NEW BERN - United States Attorney George E.B. Holding announced that in federal court today two defendants were sentenced for charges stemming from the attempted robbery of a Greenville Pawn Shop. Chief United States District Judge Louis W. Flanagan sentenced DEVONTRA ARNEZ TYSON, 22, of Ayden, North Carolina, to 157 months’ imprisonment followed by five years’ supervised release. Her co-defendant, CHARLES AUGUSTUS REYNOLDS, JR., 21, of Greenville, North Carolina, received 70 months’ imprisonment followed by three years’ supervised release.

A Federal Grand Jury returned a Criminal Indictment on June 9, 2010. On December 15, 2010, each defendant pled guilty to attempted Hobbs Act robbery. Additionally, TYSON pled guilty to the use or carry of a firearm during and in relation to a crime of violence.

On August 20, 2009, TYSON, along with co-conspirators James Earl Jones and Willie Derod Beale, planned to commit a robbery at Jolly’s Pawn Shop, in Greenville, North Carolina. Earlier in the day, TYSON, Jones, and Beale entered the store, ostensibly to pawn jewelry. The defendants left the store and went to the residence of REYNOLDS, and recruited REYNOLDS to drive the other three back to the store. Upon their arrival at the store, TYSON, Jones and Beale exited the vehicle and REYNOLDS drove off. Before entering the store, TYSON, Jones, and Beale concealed their identities by wearing ski masks and/or hats to cover their faces. TYSON was armed with a .22 caliber pistol and Jones and Beale possessed either a .22 caliber rifle or a double-barrel shotgun. Once inside the store, Jones and Beale guarded the front of the store while TYSON walked to the rear and approached the proprietor. An employee and the co-owner were also inside the store at the time. At some point, the employee was held at gunpoint. TYSON also brandished his pistol and directed some comments to the store owner, who was also present. The owner drew a .357 revolver from his pants pocket, and TYSON discharged his firearm once towards the owner, but missed. The owner and the co-owner, who also had a pistol, as well as the employee, who retrieved a shotgun, returned fire and emptied their guns at the conspirators. During the shooting, Jones was struck once in the right arm and chest by pellets from the shotgun. TYSON, Jones, and Beale then fled from the store without obtaining any money or property from the attempted robbery. Each defendant was ultimately apprehended.

Investigation of this case was conducted by the Pitt County Sheriff’s Office. Assistant United States Attorney John Bennett represented the government.


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