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Justice News

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

Friday, March 29, 2013

Dyersburg Man Pleads Guilty To Felony Firearms Possession Following Robbery, Attempted Murder

Jackson, TN – Craig Michael Barbee, 39, of Dyersburg, TN pleaded guilty today to one count of being a felon in possession of a firearm, announced U.S. Attorney Edward L. Stanton III.

According to the indictment and statements made during the plea hearing, on May 18, 2012, Barbee used a .38 Special revolver in an attempt to rob the Dollar General Store in Friendship, TN. He was confronted during the attempted robbery by off-duty Friendship Police Chief Bill Garret. During an attempt to disarm the gunman, Garret was shot in the abdomen. After robbing the business and several patrons, Barbee fled the scene before officers with the Friendship Police Department and Crockett County Sheriff’s Deputies could arrive. Garret has fully recovered from his injuries.

The following day, the Lauderdale County Sheriff’s Department received a tip that Barbee was in or around Halls, TN. Lauderdale County Deputies Steve Jackson and Kurt Kissell observed a man matching Barbee’s description riding a bicycle. When they approached, Barbee resisted arrest. The deputies recovered a firearm from Barbee’s waistband.

“The violent nature of Barbee’s brazen and criminal acts, including his willingness to fire upon a member of law enforcement, underscores the threat that he posed to the community as a whole,” said U.S. Attorney Stanton. “We will remain vigilant in aggressively prosecuting those individuals who violate federal firearm laws and endanger the safety of our citizens.”

Barbee will appear before U.S. District Judge J. Daniel Breen on June 28, 2013, at the Jackson Federal Courthouse for sentencing. He is still facing charges of Attempted First-Degree Murder and Aggravated Robbery in state court.

The case was investigated by the ATF; the Friendship Police Department; the Crockett County Sheriff’s Department; the Lauderdale County Sheriff’s Department; and the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorney Victor L. Ivy represented the government.

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Updated March 19, 2015