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Justice News

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

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Memphis Couple Collectively Sentenced to More Than 30 Years for Robbing Multiple Businesses

Memphis, TN – A couple has been collectively sentenced to more than 390 months in federal prison for robbing multiple businesses throughout Memphis. Edward L. Stanton III, U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Tennessee, announced the sentences today.

According to information presented in court, between May and June 2015, Julius Knight, 33; and Deidra Mason, 25; both of Memphis; participated in the armed robbery of multiple Family Dollar Stores, a Subway, Papa John’s, and Dollar General. Knight robbed two additional restaurants independently.

During the robberies, Knight would enter the businesses with a weapon and demand employees to remove money from the cash registers. In some of the robberies, Knight used various methods to disguise his identity, including wearing a red wig, skull cap, or baseball cap, as well as pantyhose over his face. Mason, his girlfriend at the time, served as his getaway driver.

Law enforcement discovered that the description of the person who robbed the aforementioned businesses were similar. Furthermore, a blue Ford Taurus was identified as the getaway car used in the robberies of a Family Dollar, Subway and Papa John’s.

On June 1, 2015, officers stopped a blue Ford Taurus that matched the description of the reported getaway vehicle. Mason was driving the car. After officers discovered her driver’s license was suspended, they arrested her. They later discovered Mason served as the getaway driver in the series of robberies.

Following Mason’s arrest, Knight executed two business robberies barefaced. On June 3, 2015, Knight robbed a Church’s Chicken on Chelsea Avenue. Five days later, he robbed another Church’s on Thomas Avenue. When officers responded to the June 8th robbery, Church’s employees informed them that Knight approached one of the employees from behind as they worked the drive-through window. He demanded money from the register before jumping over the counter and fleeing. There were customers at the drive-through window when the robbery took place who were able to see Knight’s face and weapon. Fingerprints were lifted from the store that matched Knight’s, and he was later located and arrested.

In April 2016, Mason pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Sheryl H. Lipman to six counts of aiding and abetting Knight during the robbery of a business engaged in interstate commerce.

In May 2016, Knight pleaded guilty before Judge Lipman to six counts of aiding and abetting Mason in the robbery of a business engaged in interstate commerce; one count of using a firearm during the robbery of a business engaged in interstate commerce; and two counts of robbing a business engaged in interstate commerce.

On Tuesday, August 2, Judge Lipman sentenced Mason to 63 months in federal prison.

On Thursday, August 25, Judge Lipman sentenced Knight to 336 months in federal prison.

This case was investigated by the FBI’s Safe Streets Task Force and the Memphis Police Department.

Assistant U.S. Attorneys Lorraine Craig and Dean DeCandia prosecuted this case on the government’s behalf.

Violent Crime
Updated August 25, 2016