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Press Release

Pender County Man Sentenced for Armed Robbery of Scotchman Convenience Store

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Eastern District of North Carolina

WILMINGTON, N.C. –A Pender County man was sentenced today to 91 months in prison and five years of supervised release for robbery affecting interstate commerce and possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime.

According to court documents and other evidence, Dontee Deshawn Forte, 21, and a co-defendant went to the Scotchman gas station and convenience store in Burgaw on June 4, 2019 and robbed the store.  Forte’s co-defendant entered the store and held the clerk at gunpoint while he demanded money.  The clerk opened the cash register and the co-defendant took the money out of the register.  Forte drove the co-defendant to the store to effectuate the robbery and was going to be the get-away driver.  However, the co-defendant ran the opposite direction from where the car was parked and Forte drove away from the scene without his co-conspirator. 

The store clerks were able to describe the car that fled the area which enabled officers with the Burgaw Police Department to locate the car very shortly after the robbery.  Forte was with the car and was detained for questioning.  Forte’s co-defendant was found a short time after the robbery walking within 3 blocks of the Scotchman.  The co-defendant was wearing clothing consistent with the robber’s description.  Officers found money from the store on his person as well as a firearm.  The firearm belonged to Forte’s sister.  Both men were transported to the Burgaw Police Department.  Forte was found in possession of Xanax pills that were hidden on his person and provided a statement to law enforcement.  After first denying any knowledge of the robbery, he ultimately told law enforcement that he dropped off his co-defendant, who was armed with a weapon, at the Scotchman and went back home.

Forte had prior convictions for Discharging a Weapon Into an Occupied Vehicle. According to law enforcement, Forte was a validated gang member.

G. Norman Acker, III, Acting U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of North Carolina made the announcement after sentencing by Chief U.S. District Judge Richard E. Myers II. The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and the Burgaw Police Department investigated the case and Assistant U.S. Attorney Charity Wilson  prosecuted the case.

Related court documents and information can be found on the website of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of North Carolina or on PACER by searching for Case No. 7:20-cr-00080-M-1.

Updated May 20, 2021

Drug Trafficking
Firearms Offenses