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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Western District of North Carolina

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, April 8, 2016

Two Men Sentenced For Armed Robbery Of Fast Food Restaurant

Robbers Ordered Employees and Patrons to Lie on the Floor at Gunpoint

STATESVILLE, N.C. – Two men responsible for the armed robbery of an area fast food restaurant were sentenced to prison yesterday, announced Jill Westmoreland Rose, U.S. Attorney for the Western District of North Carolina.  Dashawn Raquan Hunt, 27, and Davon Santario McKnight, 26, both of Charlotte, were sentenced to 192 and 87 months in prison, respectively.   They were also each ordered by U.S. District Judge Richard L. Voorhees to spend three years under court supervision after they are released from prison.

“Over the past year, efforts have been aimed at crime prevention. However, the vigorous prosecution of violent criminals who spread fear in our communities and put innocent lives at risk remains a priority for my office. I would like to thank our local and federal law enforcement partners for their thorough investigation of this case that resulted in two dangerous criminals being taken off our streets,” said U.S Attorney Rose. 

According to filed court documents and court proceedings, on February 5, 2014, Hunt and McKnight, wearing hoodies, masks, gloves, and brandishing handguns, entered a Firehouse Subs restaurant located at 14039 East Independence Boulevard in Indian Trail, N.C. The two men ordered some restaurant employees and patrons to get on the floor at gunpoint and told other employees to hand them money from the cash register and the safe.  Hunt and McKnight then then fled the scene in a Ford Crown Victoria with $1,000 in cash.  According to court records, a concerned citizen saw the pair leaving the restaurant and thinking their behavior was suspicious called 9-1-1.  A police officer responding to the call stopped the vehicle and after approaching the car he noticed that one person was in the driver’s seat and another was lying down in the back seat.  Court records show while the police officer called for back-up the two robbers took off in their car and sped away toward Charlotte.  According to court records, Hunt and McKnight were arrested shortly thereafter, after the driver crashed his car into another vehicle. 

According to court records, four days prior to this armed robbery, Hunt, assisted by Toburia Qunita Bennett, robbed at gunpoint a McAllister’s Deli located in Mooresville, N.C.  According to court documents, on February 1, 2014, at about 4:00 a.m., Hunt approached a deliveryman who was making a delivery at the restaurant.  Court records show that Hunt pointed his gun at the deliveryman and directed him inside the restaurant, where he ordered the victim to put the store’s safe on a dolly and wheel it out to the parking lot.  Hunt then tied up the deliveryman inside the store and fled. Court records indicate that the deliveryman was able to get loose and call the police.  Officers later found the store’s safe still sitting on the dolly in the restaurant’s parking lot. 

According to court records, law enforcement located Bennett’s vehicle at a nearby gas station.  Bennett denied to law enforcement any involvement in the robbery and was arrested at the scene for driving with an expired license.  Court records indicate that while Bennett was sitting in her car, Hunt went to a nearby QT gas station, pointed a gun at the cashier and demanded the keys to the attendant’s car.  The attendant handed over the keys to Hunt, who fled the scene in the stolen vehicle. 

Bennett, 28, of Charlotte, later admitted to knowing that Hunt had committed other robberies and that he used a gun to carry out those robberies.  She pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit armed robbery and was sentenced in February 2016 to 43 months in prison and three years of supervised release.

Hunt and McKnight pleaded guilty to robbery charges in April 2015.  Hunt also pleaded guilty to carjacking and use of a firearm in furtherance of a crime of violence in connection with the McAllister’s Deli robbery.  They are both currently in federal custody and will be transferred to the custody of the Federal Bureau of Prisons upon designation of a federal facility.  All federal sentences are served without the possibility of parole.

U.S. Attorney Rose thanked John A. Strong, Special Agent in Charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Charlotte Division; C.J. Hyman, Special Agent in Charge of the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), Charlotte Field Division; Chief Damon Williams of the Mooresville Police Department; Sheriff Eddie Cathey of the Union County Sheriff’s Office; Chief M.E. Plyler, Jr. of the Stallings Police Department; Chief Kerr Putney of the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department; and Chief Rob Hunter of the Matthews Police Department for investigating the case.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Robert Gleason of the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Charlotte was in charge of the prosecution.

 

Updated April 8, 2016