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Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Department of Justice

Acting United States Attorney Gregg L. Sullivan Eastern District of Tennessee


VIOLENT CRIME SPREE NETS SUNBRIGHT RESIDENT 32-YEAR SENTENCE IN FEDERAL PRISON

KNOXVILLE, Tenn.--On August 26, 2010, Christopher Ellis, 33, of Sunbright, Tennessee, was sentenced by the Honorable Thomas W. Phillips, United States District Judge of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Tennessee at Knoxville, to a term of 32 years in prison. The sentence was the result of a guilty plea by Ellis on May 27, 2010, to charges arising out of a violent crime spree spanning four southeastern states in the fall of 2008. The crimes included a bank robbery in Kentucky, two armed carjackings in Georgia and Alabama, and an armed carjacking of an elderly couple at their home in Loudon County, Tennessee.

The arrest and subsequent conviction of Ellis were the result of an investigation conducted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) Safe Streets Task Force, which is comprised of FBI special agents and officers from the Knox County Sheriff’s Office and the Knoxville Police Department. The Loudon County Sheriff’s Office also was an active participant in the investigation. Acting United States Attorney Gregg Sullivan and FBI Special Agent in Charge Richard Lambert emphasized, “This case demonstrates what happens when federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies work together to take armed, violent criminals off the streets. Stiff federal firearms laws will continue to be used to ensure that violent criminals such as Ellis serve extensive prison terms.”

The United States was represented in this case by Assistant United States Attorney Kelly Norris, who may be contacted at the above-referenced telephone number.

This case was brought as part of Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), a comprehensive national strategy that creates local partnerships with law enforcement agencies to effectively enforce existing gun laws. It provides more options to prosecutors, allowing them to utilize local, state, and federal laws to ensure that criminals who commit gun crime face tough sentences. PSN gives each federal district the flexibility it needs to focus on individual challenges that a specific community faces.

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