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Press Release

Tyler James Schaeffer Sentenced For Firearms Violations

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

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. – On Mar. 3, 2014, Tyler James Schaeffer, 22, of Seymour, Tenn., was sentenced to serve a total of 100 years in prison by the Honorable Thomas Varlan, U.S. District Judge.

In May 2013, a jury convicted Schaeffer of three counts of brandishing a firearm during and in relation to three robberies of businesses engaged in interstate commerce (Hobbs Act robbery) and possession of a firearm in furtherance of a methylone trafficking conspiracy.

Prior to his conviction at trial, in April 2013, Schaeffer pleaded guilty to a series of seven armed robberies, as well as the methylone trafficking conspiracy, that occurred between July 2010 and September 2012. Based on the proof available at the time of trial, the United States pursued firearms charges in connection with three of the seven robberies, as well as the methylone trafficking conspiracy. The jury convicted Schaeffer of each of those four firearms-related counts.

Jerel Bray-Sean Johnson, 20, of Knoxville, Tenn., and Rodney James Ruffin, 22, of Sevierville, Tenn., also pleaded guilty to related robbery, drug trafficking and firearms charges, and did not go to trial with Schaeffer. Sentencing for Johnson is scheduled for May 2, 2014. Ruffin is scheduled to be sentenced on Apr.16, 2014.

Law enforcement agencies participating in the joint investigation which led to indictment, conviction and today’s sentencing of Schaeffer included the FBI’s Safe Streets Task Force, KPD, Office of District Attorney General James B. Dunn, Tennessee Highway Patrol, Knox County Sheriff’s Office, Sevier County Sheriff’s Office, Sevierville Police Department, Blount County Sheriff’s Office, and Alcoa Police Department. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Kelly A. Norris and Tracy L. Stone represented the United States at trial.

Schaeffer will be returned to Sevier County authorities to stand trial for a deadly automobile collision which occurred on September 16, 2012, as well as a burglary charge.

Updated March 18, 2015