Memphis, TN – On February 7, 2020, Arkiest Young, 38, pleaded guilty to attempted Hobbs Act business robbery. Young has now been sentenced to 60 months in federal prison for his role in the violent crime. U.S. Attorney D. Michael Dunavant announced the sentence today.
According to information presented in court, on January 3, 2018, two men entered the Circle K at 6565 Mt. Moriah, brandishing firearms and demanding money, one wearing blue latex gloves. One suspect also pointed a handgun at a customer who was already inside the business. The customer was armed, and fired at the suspects. As the suspects fled the business, they returned fire at the customer. A witness reported that the two suspects were driven away in a red or maroon cube-like vehicle.
Shortly thereafter, a shooting victim was dropped off at Delta Medical Hospital, who claimed he was shot in a drive-by shooting. Memphis Police Officers responded to both scenes, compared surveillance video from the Circle K with clothing from the individual at Delta Medical, and identified Davonte Gary, 21, as one of the robbery suspects.
As officers were executing a search warrant at suspect Cortez Young’s apartment, a red Chevrolet HHR, which could be described as a cube-like vehicle, arrived on the scene, occupied by Arkiest Young. The HHR had been reported stolen. Officers found a handgun and a box of blue latex gloves inside the HHR. Arkiest Young was taken into custody, waived his Miranda rights, and admitted to driving the HHR and dropping off Gary at Delta Medical Hospital on January 3.
Charges against Devonte Gary are still pending. Cortez Young, 23, has already pleaded guilty to this business robbery and other robbery and firearms offenses, and will be sentenced later this year.
On August 6, 2020, U.S. District Court Judge Thomas L. Parker sentenced Arkiest Young to 60 months in federal prison followed by 3 years supervised release. There is no parole in the federal system.
U.S. Attorney D. Michael Dunavant said, "Armed business robbery that harms store owners and threatens customers must be dealt with swiftly and certainly. That means holding all parties to the crime accountable, including getaway drivers and others who aid and abet such brazen violence. The FBI Safe Streets Task Force has dramatically increased the clearance rate of armed business robbery cases, and because of their quick response and outstanding investigation in this case, these violent offenders will be rightly incapacitated and punished."
The Memphis Police Department and the FBI Safe Streets Task Force investigated this case.
U.S. Attorneys Kevin Whitmore and Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Samuel D. Winnig prosecuted this case on behalf of the government. SAUSA Winnig is currently assigned from the Shelby County District Attorney General’s Office for the purpose of prosecuting violent crimes and firearms offenses in federal court.