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Press Release

Gallatin Man Convicted for December 2019 Violent Crime Spree

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

NASHVILLE - A federal jury convicted Lazavion Kern, 22, of Gallatin, Tennessee, of multiple armed robbery and firearms offenses yesterday, announced United States Attorney Henry C. Leventis for the Middle District of Tennessee.

During a three-week span in December 2019, Kern robbed four convenience stores in Gallatin and Portland, Tennessee, taking thousands of dollars from the clerks. As part of the final robbery, Kern repeatedly pistol-whipped the clerk, seriously injuring him. Kern was charged by a federal grand jury in January of 2023 with one count of Hobbs Act robbery for each of the four robberies, and two counts of brandishing a firearm during and in relation to a crime of violence. Yesterday, a federal jury convicted him on each count.

“This defendant went on a three-week crime spree, violently attacked an innocent store clerk, and bragged about his actions on social media,” said United States Attorney Henry C. Leventis. “The jury’s verdict ensures that he will be held accountable for those actions and that he will be removed from society for at least 14 years. I commend the excellent work of the trial team, the FBI, and our local law enforcement partners that made this outcome possible.”  

“This conviction should send a clear message that the FBI and our law enforcement partners make it a priority to bring to justice those who resort to armed robbery for ill-gotten financial gains,” said Special Agent in Charge Douglas DePodesta of the FBI Memphis Field Office. “Violent crimes will not be tolerated, and law enforcement will not rest, until offenders are caught, prosecuted and held accountable for their actions.”

Kern faces a mandatory minimum sentence of 14 years, and up to life, in federal prison.  He will be sentenced by United States District Judge William L. Campbell, Jr.

Kern was aided in each robbery by Antonio Jones and, in the third robbery, by Michael Sanchez Fitts. Jones and Fitts have pleaded guilty to felonies.

This case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Gallatin Police Department, the Sumner County Sheriff’s Office, and the Portland Police Department. Significant assistance was provided by the United States Marshals Service. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Joseph P. Montminy and Taylor J. Phillips are prosecuting the case.



Mark H. Wildasin

Executive Assistant U.S. Attorney

(615) 736-2079

Updated December 20, 2023

Violent Crime