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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, January 28, 2022

Two Austin Men Sentenced to Federal Prison for Attempted Robbery and Shooting of Convenience Store Employee

AUSTIN – Two Austin men were sentenced to lengthy federal prison terms today for participating in an attempted robbery of an Austin gas station convenience store that resulted in the shooting of an employee of the business.  Deon Ross, 37, who shot the employee, was sentenced to 271 months in federal prison.  Lavante Carter, 19, was sentenced to 135 months in federal prison.

According to court documents, on October 7, 2020, at approximately 11 p.m., Ross and Carter attempted to rob a gas station on IH-35 in Austin.  Both Carter and Ross displayed their firearms to two store employees who were working that night.  After demanding money, Ross shot one of the employees.

Ross pleaded guilty to one count of interference with commerce by threats or violence and one count of discharge of a firearm during and in relation to a crime of violence.  Carter pleaded guilty to one count of interference with commerce by threats or violence and one count of brandishing a firearm during and in relation to a crime of violence.

“These significant sentences reflect our office’s unwavering commitment to address violent crime in our community and protect the public,” said U.S. Attorney Ashley C. Hoff. “I am grateful for the collective efforts of the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Austin Police Department in investigating this case.”

“Thanks to the hard work of the FBI Safe Streets Task Force, dangerous offenders are now off the streets,” said FBI Special Agent in Charge Christopher Combs.  “The sentencing of Deon Ross and Lavante Carter represent federal, state, and local law enforcement's commitment to combat violence and restore peace to our local community."

Ross was arrested on December 6, 2020 and has been in custody since that date.  Carter was arrested on October 12, 2020 and has been in custody since that date.  Both defendants have remained in federal custody since their arrests on March 4, 2021, on the indictment in the case.

The FBI and the Austin Police Department investigated the case.  Assistant U.S. Attorneys Gabriel Cohen and Keith Henneke prosecuted the case.

This case is being prosecuted as part of the joint federal, state, and local Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN) Program, the centerpiece of the Department of Justice’s violent crime reduction efforts. PSN is an evidence-based program proven to be effective at reducing violent crime. Through PSN, a broad spectrum of stakeholders work together to identify the most pressing violent crime problems in the community and develop comprehensive solutions to address them. As part of this strategy, PSN focuses enforcement efforts on the most violent offenders and partners with locally based prevention and reentry programs for lasting reductions in crime.

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Topic(s): 
Project Safe Neighborhoods
Violent Crime
Component(s): 
Updated January 28, 2022