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Press Release

Norfolk Man and Woman Convicted for Series of Armed Robberies

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

NORFOLK, Va. – A federal jury convicted a man and woman last Friday night for their roles in a series of armed commercial robberies.

According to court records and evidence presented at trial, between October 1, 2021, and November 15, 2021, Norfolk residents, Brandon D. Chavis, 36, and Melissa E. Beasley, 43, robbed 7-Elevens, Subway Sandwich Shops, and gas stations armed with a firearm. The jury received evidence related to 12 robberies or attempted robberies committed by Chavis and Beasley throughout the cities of Norfolk, Virginia Beach, Chesapeake, Newport News, Yorktown, and Portsmouth.

Beasley drove Chavis in her gray Volvo SUV to each robbery. Chavis wore a black hoodie, black mask, black gloves, dark jeans, brown work boots, and sometimes an orange reflective vest. Chavis entered the stores, brandished a firearm at the clerks, and fled to Beasley waiting in the getaway car. On one occasion, Beasley cashed one of the stolen lottery tickets just 33 minutes after Chavis robbed it from a Speedway. On November 15, 2021, during an interaction with Chavis and Beasley, Norfolk Police recovered the firearm Chavis used in the robberies and seized Beasley’s gray Volvo SUV.

Chavis and Beasley will be sentenced on September 27. A federal district court judge will determine any sentence after taking into account the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.

Jessica D. Aber, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia; Ramin Fatehi, Norfolk Commonwealth’s Attorney; Brian Dugan, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI’s Norfolk Field Office; Mark G. Solesky, Chief of Chesapeake Police; Orin Gallop, Interim Chief of Hampton Police; Steve R. Drew, Chief of Newport News Police; Mark Talbot, Chief of Norfolk Police; Paul Neudigate, Chief of Virginia Beach Police; and Stephen Jenkins, Chief of Portsmouth Police, made the announcement after U.S. District Judge Elizabeth Wilson Hanes accepted the verdict.

Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Graham Stolle and Assistant United States Attorney Joe Depadilla are prosecuting the case.

This case is part of Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), which is the centerpiece of the Department of Justice’s violent crime reduction efforts. PSN is an evidence-based program proven to be effective at reducing violent crime. Through PSN, a broad spectrum of stakeholders work together to identify the most pressing violent crime problems in the community and develop comprehensive solutions to address them. As part of this strategy, PSN focuses enforcement efforts on the most violent offenders and partners with locally based prevention and reentry programs for lasting reductions in crime.

A copy of this press release is located on the website of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Virginia. Related court documents and information are located on the website of the District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia or on PACER by searching for Case No. 2:22-cr-83.

Updated May 22, 2023

Project Safe Neighborhoods