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Press Release

Federal Charges Brought Against Codefendant in Interstate Armed Jewelry Theft Case

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Northern District of Florida

PANAMA CITY, FLORIDA – Lewis Jones III, 35, of Atlanta, GA, was charged today by criminal complaint with conspiracy to interfere with commerce by threats or violence.  The criminal complaint was announced by Christopher P. Canova, Acting United States Attorney for the Northern District of Florida.

Jones and Abigail Lee Kemp were arrested together in the Smyrna, Georgia, area on Friday, January 8, 2016, on charges related to the armed robberies of six jewelry stores in Panama City Beach, Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina, and Tennessee.  The complaint alleges that, in each robbery, the robber or robbers displayed a handgun, ordered the employees to the back of the store, ordered them to lie face-down on the floor, and bound their hands behind their backs with zip ties.  The robber or robbers then removed hundreds of thousands of dollars-worth of jewelry from the jewelry display cases.

The punishment for the alleged crime is a maximum of 20 years in prison.  The initial appearance for Lewis Jones III is expected to take place tomorrow in the Northern District of Georgia in Atlanta.  The next court appearance will take place at a date to be determined in the U.S. District Court in Panama City, Florida, in the Northern District of Florida.

This case resulted from an investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation.  Assistant United States Attorney Kathryn D. Risinger is prosecuting the case.

A criminal complaint is merely an allegation that a defendant has committed a violation of federal criminal law and is not evidence of guilt.  All defendants are presumed innocent and entitled to a fair trial, during which it will be the government’s burden to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt at trial.

The United States Attorney's Office for the Northern District of Florida is one of 94 offices that serve as the nation’s principal litigators under the direction of the Attorney General.  The office strives to protect and serve the citizens of the Northern District of Florida through the ethical, vigorous, and impartial enforcement of the laws of the United States, to defend the national security, to improve the safety and quality of life in our communities through the protection of civil rights, and to protect the public funds and financial assets of the United States.  To access available public court documents online, please visit the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Florida website.  For more information about the United States Attorney’s Office, Northern District of Florida, visit

For more information, contact:
Amy Alexander, Public Information Officer
(850) 216-3854,

Updated January 11, 2016

Violent Crime