College Park Men Sentenced for String of Drug Store Robberies in Cobb County
ATLANTA - Dave Montonio Sturgis, Jr., has been sentenced to 32 years in federal prison for robbing three drug stores in Cobb County, Georgia, in June 2015. Sturgis’ co-defendant and robbery partner Lloyd Nathaniel Joyner, a/k/a Zulu, a/k/a Zu, was sentenced on January 12, 2017, to 40 years in prison for the three robberies he committed with Sturgis and three other robberies he committed in May and early June 2015 in Atlanta and Cobb County.
“This crew had had little regard for the lives of the employees they robbed, and no fear of being caught,” said U.S. Attorney John Horn. “Thankfully, one alert Lawrenceville Police Department officer quickly identified similarities in the robberies, and started putting the team together to catch them before they harmed anyone. Local law enforcement agencies teamed with the FBI to stop this violent robbery crew, and we are grateful for their hard work in this case.”
“The sentencing of Dave Sturgis, Jr. highlights the intensive joint investigation addressing a string of violent commercial robberies within the metro Atlanta area. The removal of Sturgis and his partner, Lloyd Joyner, from our streets will indeed have a positive impact on our community crime wise and we have many dedicated detectives, investigators, agents and prosecutors to thank for making this happen. The FBI’s Atlanta Field Office will continue to work with its many law enforcement partners in aggressively addressing violent crime in Atlanta and throughout Georgia as a whole,” said David J. LeValley, Special Agent in Charge, FBI Atlanta Field Office.
“This conviction illustrates the great work of law enforcement in investigating and prosecuting armed robberies in Georgia. The Georgia Bureau of Investigation remains committed to working with our local and federal partners to pursue these vicious crimes,” said Vernon Keenan, Director, Georgia Bureau of Investigation.
“I am pleased with the efforts of several law enforcement agencies working together to bring violent criminals to justice,” said Randy Johnson, Chief of the Lawrenceville Police Department. “We emphasize the need for agencies to work together and share information in order to stop violent crime. Criminals do not recognize jurisdictional limits, nor do they confine their activities to a single jurisdiction. Lawrenceville Police detective Justin Hipps, who recognized the similarity in crimes occurring across metro-Atlanta, did a great job to bring agencies together to share information. We are proud of his tenacious efforts in investigating these crimes.”
According to U.S. Attorney Horn, the charges and other information presented in court: Joyner and Joseph Stowers—who pleaded guilty before Joyner and Sturgis’ trial—robbed CVS and Walgreens drug stores in Marietta, Smyrna, and Atlanta, in May and June 2015. They followed a pattern by dressing in black hooded sweatshirts, their faces masked, and brandishing semiautomatic pistols when they burst into the stores near closing time or, in the case of 24-hour stores, after midnight, when the stores were empty of customers. They terrorized employees by rounding them up and taking them to the store office, where they demanded that the manager open the safe, while the other employees were forced to lay face-down on the floor. In some instances, the robbers were limited to taking cash from cash registers. They also took the wallets and cell phones of several employees during the robberies, and then fled.
A detective from the Lawrenceville Police Department was the first to identify these crimes were a related series of robberies, and put together the task force that established that these robberies were related. Part of the evidence produced at trial were videos of the three defendants with large stacks of cash and guns after the robberies occurred.
After six days of trial in September 2016, in federal court in Atlanta, the jury convicted Joyner of robbing a CVS in Marietta, on May 27, 2015; a CVS in Atlanta, on June 4, 2015; and a CVS in Smyrna, also on June 4, 2015.
Sturgis joined the robbery crew in mid-June 2015, as the driver. He also entered the stores prior to the robberies to scout the targets. Joyner and Sturgis were convicted by a jury of robbing a Walgreens in Smyrna, on June 16, 2015; a Walgreens in Marietta, on June 18, 2015; and a CVS in Marietta, on June 19, 2015. The jury also convicted Joyner and Sturgis of aiding and abetting each other in the brandishing of firearms in the robberies on June 16, 18, and 19. FBI agents and task force officers arrested Joyner and Sturgis outside of a CVS in Marietta on June 24, 2015.
Dave Montonio Sturgis, Jr., 25, of College Park, Georgia, was sentenced to 32 years, to be followed by three years of supervised release, and to pay restitution of $7,130 to Walgreens and CVS.
Lloyd Nathaniel Joyner, a/k/a Zulu, a/k/a Zu, 25, of College Park, was sentenced to prison for 40 years, to be followed by five years of supervised release.
Stowers is scheduled to be sentenced March 23, 2017.
This case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Georgia Bureau of Investigation, and the Lawrenceville Police Department.
Assistant United States Attorneys Mary Webb and William Traynor prosecuted the case.
For further information please contact the U.S. Attorney’s Public Affairs Office at USAGAN.PressEmails@usdoj.gov or (404) 581-6016. The Internet address for the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Georgia is http://www.justice.gov/usao-ndga.