Two Gunmen Arrested in Roberson's Fine Jewelry Robbery, All Perpetrators Now in Custody
LITTLE ROCK—Christopher R. Thyer, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Arkansas, Diane Upchurch, Special Agent in Charge of the Little Rock Field Office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), and Kenton Buckner, Chief of Little Rock Police Department (LRPD), announced today the arrests of the two gunmen who brandished handguns during the midday robbery of Roberson’s Fine Jewelry on September 22, 2015. The arrests are part of the continuing federal and local collaborative commitment to helping prevent violent crime in Little Rock.
Quinshod Shaw, 27, of Oklahoma City, Okla., was arrested Monday afternoon in Norman, Okla., and appeared before United States District Judge Charles B. Goodwin in the Western District of Oklahoma. Also Monday, Darris Denton, 29, Oklahoma City, Okla., was served an arrest warrant while being held in the McAlford Corrections Center in Stringfield, Okla., on unrelated state charges. Following the arrests, a second superseding indictment, which was returned by the Grand Jury on February 7, 2017, was unsealed. This unsealed indictment added Shaw and Denton, who have been identified as the two gunmen who assisted in the robbery, to five previously indicted defendants.
“The arrests that were carried out Monday show our unwavering determination to bring to justice all who commit crimes of violence in our community, no matter where those perpetrators may be hiding, and no matter how long it takes,” Thyer said. “We will use all means necessary—whether it be federal, state, or local resources—to help protect our community.”
On September 22, 2015, Shaw and Denton, along with Tony Gabriel, 49, Oklahoma City, Okla., and Siee Ramon Russell, 38, Oklahoma City, Okla., entered Roberson’s Fine Jewelry, located on Cantrell Road in Little Rock. While Shaw and Denton pointed guns at the employees and a customer, Russell smashed jewelry cases with a hammer and Gabriel grabbed various jewelry, including diamond earrings, bracelets, and rings, and placed it in a bag. The group stole more than $300,000 worth of jewelry.
The four men fled the store and left the scene in a stolen truck, which they abandoned in a nearby neighborhood. In the neighborhood, the group met Lenora Grant, 60, of Oklahoma City, Okla., Jobie Kirk, 51, Oklahoma City, Okla., and Darryl Madden, 52, Moore, Okla., and all co-conspirators drove back to Oklahoma in two vehicles.
The Little Rock Police Department obtained blood samples from broken shards of glass from the smashed cases which identified Russell’s DNA. LRPD also secured a hat which was used by a perpetrator in the robbery and discarded in the abandoned stolen truck. A DNA sample lifted off of the hat identified Gabriel. Surveillance video taken from the store confirmed the actions taken by the defendants.
“The arrests today demonstrate the need to aggressively pursue and prosecute those who commit violent crimes in our community in efforts to make Arkansas a safer place for all,” Upchurch said. “We appreciate the strong commitment of the Eastern District of the United States Attorney’s Office and the Little Rock Police Department.”
An indictment naming Gabriel and Russell was returned April 6, 2016. That original three-count indictment charged both defendants with conspiracy to commit a Hobb’s Act violation (interfering with commerce by means of robbery), aiding and abetting a Hobb’s Act violation, and aiding and abetting brandishing a firearm in furtherance of a crime of violence.
The getaway drivers—Grant, Kirk, and Madden—were named in a first superseding indictment, which contained the same charges and was returned on July 6, 2016. The second superseding indictment, unsealed Monday, also contains the same charges and names the two gunmen, Shaw and Denton.
On October 6, 2016, before United States District Court Judge J. Leon Holmes, Gabriel and Russell each pleaded guilty to aiding and abetting brandishing a firearm in furtherance of a crime of violence, and will be sentenced by Judge Holmes at a later date. In their plea agreements, Gabriel and Russell admitted to the facts of the robbery, including everyone’s individual role.
Kirk, Madden, and Grant are set for trial before Judge Holmes on April 24, 2017. Shaw and Denton will appear before Judge Holmes for plea and arraignment at a later date, after they are transported to Little Rock.
The maximum penalties for brandishing a firearm in furtherance of a crime of violence is not less than seven years, or more than life, imprisonment, not more than $250,000 fine, and not more than five years supervised release. The maximum penalties for conspiracy to commit a Hobbs Act violation (robbery) and commission of a Hobbs Act violation is not more than 20 years’ imprisonment, not more than a $250,000 fine, and not more than three years supervised release.
The FBI and LRPD worked the Roberson case investigation in a joint partnership. The case is being prosecuted by First Assistant United States Attorney Patrick Harris and Assistant United States Attorney Erin O’Leary.
An indictment contains only allegations. A defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.