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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Middle District of Florida

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, September 3, 2019

Jury Convicts Armed Robbery Getaway Driver/Lookout

Tampa, Florida – A federal jury has found Dajor Marquis Atkins (27, Tampa) guilty of four offenses related to a takeover-style armed robbery. The jury found Atkins guilty of one count of conspiring to interfere with interstate commerce by robbery, one count of interference with interstate commerce by robbery, one count of brandishing a firearm during a crime of violence, and one count of possessing a firearm and ammunition as a convicted felon. Atkins faces a minimum mandatory penalty of seven years, and up to life, in federal prison. His sentencing hearing is scheduled for December 4, 2019.

According to evidence presented during the five-day trial, on June 2, 2018, Atkins served as the lookout and getaway driver while his co-defendant, Riley Harris, entered the AT&T store located at 21561 U.S. Highway 19 North in Clearwater. Harris held the employees at gunpoint, forced them to open the inventory storage locker and cash register, bound the employees’ hands and feet with packing tape, and stole cash and merchandise worth more than $47,000. Harris then fled the store in the waiting vehicle as Atkins drove the pair from the scene. Law enforcement officers tracked the getaway vehicle as it fled the scene and identified Harris and Atkins as the robbery team.

This was the fourth in a series of similar takeover-style armed robberies of AT&T stores committed by Harris between December 2017 and June 2018. Atkins only participated in the fourth and final armed robbery.

Harris previously pleaded guilty. His sentencing hearing is scheduled for September 6, 2019.

This case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, with assistance from the Clearwater Police Department, the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office, and the Tampa Police Department. It is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Michael M. Gordon.

This is another case prosecuted as part of the Department of Justice’s “Project Safe Neighborhoods” Program (PSN), which is a nationwide crime reduction strategy aimed at decreasing violent crime in communities. It involves a comprehensive approach to public safety — one that includes investigating and prosecuting crimes, along with prevention and reentry efforts. In the Middle District of Florida, U.S. Attorney Maria Chapa Lopez coordinates PSN efforts in cooperation with various federal, state, and local law enforcement officials.

Topic(s): 
Firearms Offenses
Project Safe Neighborhoods
Component(s): 
Updated September 3, 2019