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GRAND RAPIDS, MICHIGAN – Shaun Michael Cook, 31, of Lansing, Michigan, was sentenced to 102 months in federal prison for his role in a series of Lansing area robberies, U.S. Attorney Andrew Birge announced today. Cook and his codefendants, Donald Charles Westmoreland and Shackeem Louis Jones, committed a series of armed robberies of various businesses in the Lansing metropolitan area from November 2016 through May 2017. Cook, Jones and Westmoreland each pleaded guilty earlier this year to interference with commerce by robbery and brandishing a firearm. United States District Judge Janet T. Neff, who sentenced Cook, sentenced Westmoreland to 87 months in prison and Jones to 96 months. She ordered Cook to pay $2,139.21 in restitution and Jones and Westmoreland to pay $4,739.21.
"Reducing violent crime rates is a priority for this office as well as the Department of Justice," said U.S. Attorney Andrew Birge. "Repeated violent behavior involving firearms will be met with increased law enforcement attention, swift justice, and severe punishment."
During most of these robberies, two of the men would enter a business, point a gun at the employees and customers, demand money, and order everyone to the ground. During some of the robberies, the men destroyed the businesses’ telephones or stole cell phones from employees in order to prevent calls for help. At sentencing, Judge Neff attributed the following robberies to this group (all occurred in the Lansing area unless otherwise indicated):
• November 16, 2016: Cook and Jones robbed a Subway restaurant on Saginaw Highway;
• December 18, 2016: Cook, Jones, and Westmoreland robbed a Subway restaurant on Larch Street;
• December 24, 2016: Cook and Jones robbed a Subway restaurant on Grand River Avenue;
• December 27, 2016: Cook, Jones, and Westmoreland robbed a Beauty Max beauty supply store on West Saginaw Highway;
• December 27, 2016: Cook, Jones, and Westmoreland robbed a Citgo Gas Station near Wildwood Avenue in the Jackson, Michigan area;
• December 28, 2016: Cook, Jones, and Westmoreland robbed a Subway on East Saginaw Highway;
• December 29, 2016: Jones and Westmoreland robbed a Biggby coffee shop on Elmwood Road;
• January 10, 2017: Jones and Westmoreland robbed a Subway on East Lake Lansing Road;
• January 23, 2018: Jones and Westmoreland robbed a Family Dollar store on South Pennsylvania Avenue;
• March 13, 2017: Jones and Westmoreland robbed an Admiral gas station on West Saginaw Highway;
• March 15, 2017: Jones and Westmoreland robbed a Quality Dairy convenience store on Waverly Road;
• March 27, 2017: Jones and Westmoreland robbed a Little Caesars pizzeria on East Grand River;
• April 27, 2017: Jones robbed a Jimmy John’s restaurant on East Grand River Avenue; and
• May 1, 2017: Jones robbed a Little Caesar’s pizzeria on East Grand River Avenue.
The case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, with assistance from the Eaton County Sheriff’s Office, the Lansing Police Department, the Lansing Township Police Department, the Meridian Township Police Department, and the Michigan State Police. Assistant U.S. Attorney Alexis M. Sanford handled the prosecution.