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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Eastern District of North Carolina

Monday, June 3, 2013

Armed Robbers Receive Federal Sentence

RALEIGH - United States Attorney Thomas G. Walker announced that in federal court today Senior United States District Judge  W. Earl Britt sentenced MELVIN KENNETH CABRAL, 20ofJacksonville, North Carolina, and LYNDON DUNHAM, 24, of Green Cove Springs, Florida, for their respective roles in an armed robbery.  CABRAL was sentencedto 141 months imprisonment followed by 5 years supervised release. DUNHAM was sentenced to 125 months imprisonment followed by 5 years supervised release.  A third defendant, Dallas Holmes, was sentenced on November 1, 2011 for his role in the robbery.

A Federal Grand Jury returned a Superseding Criminal Indictment on October 24, 2012.  On January 14, 2013, CABRAL and DUNHAM each pled guilty to interference with commerce by robbery, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 1951, and to using and carrying a firearm in furtherance of a crime of violence, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 924(c).

According to the investigation, on January 9, 2011, CABRAL, DUNHAM, and Holmes robbed the Checkers Drive-In restaurant in Jacksonville, North Carolina as the employees were in the process of closing for the night.  DUNHAM acted as the getaway driver and dropped off CABRAL and Holmes near the restaurant. CABRAL and Holmes, wearing masks and armed with a shotgun, approached an employee at an exterior bathroom door behind the restaurant. The employee was forced into the bathroom at gunpoint, where CABRAL and Holmes tied his hands together before escorting him to a side door to gain entry to the restaurant. Holmes stayed back as CABRAL followed the employee into the restaurant.  Inside, CABRAL brandished the shotgun and directed two employees to a corner of the restaurant.  CABRAL then ordered the assistant manager to open the safe, and threatened to shoot another employee if the assistant manager refused.  The assistant manager opened the safe and handed cash to CABRAL who, along with Holmes, fled the area on foot.

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, and the Jacksonville Police Department.  Assistant United States Attorney Toby Lathan prosecuted the case.

Updated July 14, 2015