Tulsa Man Sentenced to 13 Years in Federal Prison for Armed Robbery
TULSA, Okla. – An armed robber has been sentenced in U.S. District Court for the robbery of a Broken Arrow QuikTrip, announced U.S. Attorney Trent Shores.
Today, U.S. District Judge Claire V. Eagan ordered Devon Deshon Thomas, 23, of Tulsa, to prison for 13 years to be followed by three years of supervised release.
“Thomas showed a complete disregard for the safety of the QuikTrip employees. He has a history of violence and intimidation. Over the past three years, he amassed four firearms and robbery arrests prior to committing the offense in this case. Thomas is the “alpha criminal” we aim to keep off the streets through Project Safe Neighborhoods,” said U.S. Attorney Trent Shores. “The citizens of Broken Arrow are fortunate that this conviction - an armed robbery for $300 - did not end in tragedy. Thomas will have plenty of time to reflect on his crime during his 13 year sentence. Meanwhile, our community will be safer with him behind bars.”
The United States prosecuted Thomas under the Hobbs Act, which specifically targets violent criminals who negatively impact interstate commerce. On Sept. 4, 2018, Thomas entered a guilty plea to robbery using coercion through force and fear. At his plea hearing, Thomas admitted to robbing a QuikTrip, located at 3502 West Kenosha Street, on May 30, 2018. Shortly after 3:30 a.m., two masked subjects brandishing what appeared to be firearms forced the QuikTrip attendant to open the cash register. The two stole nearly $300, then fled from the store in a four-door sedan with a damaged front-end.
Through the course of the investigation, the Broken Arrow Police Department, in conjunction with the FBI, linked Thomas to the vehicle used in the crime and identified him as one of the two subjects involved. Investigators then executed a search warrant and discovered two black air-propelled handguns that resembled actual firearms, as well as the clothes and mask matching descriptions previously provided to police. The two suspects were further implicated in surveillance video from a nearby Wal-Mart, where they could be seen shoplifting the air-propelled handguns shortly before the crime.
U.S. Marshals later apprehended Thomas at a residence in Louisiana. At the time, he continued to evade arrest, brandishing a large knife at officers until he was eventually taken into custody.
Thomas has been and will remain in custody pending transfer to a U.S. Bureau of Prisons facility.
Previously in 2016, Thomas was convicted in Tulsa County District Court for multiple robberies. As part of the sentence, he was granted a one year judicial review. His sentence was later modified to eight years supervised release during the review. Thomas was released in August 2017. Within ten months, he was arrested for the QuikTrip robbery.
This prosecution was part of the Department of Justice’s Project Safe Neighborhoods initiative and resulted from a joint investigation conducted by the Broken Arrow Police Department, the the FBI, and the U.S. Marshals Service. Assistant U.S. Attorney Ryan M. Roberts prosecuted the case.