Project Safe Neighborhoods Initiative Leads To 10-Year Sentence For Man Convicted Of Armed Robbery
CHARLOTTE, N.C. – Octavius DeJuan Phillips, 30, of Gastonia, N.C., was sentenced to 121 months in prison and three years of supervised release on armed robbery charges, announced Andrew Murray, U.S. Attorney for the Western District of North Carolina. U.S. District Judge Max O. Cogburn, Jr. presided over the sentencing.
According to filed documents and statements made in court, on August 26, 2017, Phillips committed a robbery at the Family Dollar store located at 3400 Wilkinson Boulevard, in Charlotte. Court records show that Phillips entered the store at 9:54 a.m., armed with a silver handgun. Phillips approached the store clerk, pointed his firearm at the employee and demanded money from the register. The store clerk complied and Phillips fled the scene with the store’s money. He was apprehended the same day in Pineville, N.C. In October 2018, Phillips pleaded guilty to Hobbs Act robbery and brandishing a firearm during, in relation to, and in furtherance of a crime of violence. Court records show that Phillips has a previous felony drug conviction and multiple assault convictions.
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In a separate case, Quincy Lamonte Love, 27, Kannapolis, N.C., was sentenced to 60 months in prison, followed by three years of supervised release for possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking offense. According to court records, on March 27, 2017, law enforcement found Love inside of a car with drugs and firearms. Following Love’s arrest, law enforcement seized a Glock, model 42, .380 caliber pistol and a Desert Eagle, .45 caliber pistol. Love has previous felony convictions and is prohibited from possessing firearms.
In making today’s announcement U.S. Attorney Murray commended the FBI and the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department (CMPD) for investigating Phillips’ case, and thanked U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and CMPD for conducting the investigation into Love.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Erik Lindahl, of the U.S. Attorney’s office in Charlotte, prosecuted both cases.
These cases have been brought as part of Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), the U.S. Justice Department’s program to reduce violent crime. The PSN approach emphasizes coordination between state and federal prosecutors and all levels of law enforcement to address gun crime, especially felons illegally possessing firearms and ammunition and violent and drug crimes that involve the use of firearms.