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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Four Men Sentenced for Violent Crime Spree Last Summer

Kidnappings and Armed Robberies took place throughout Albemarle and Greene Counties

Charlottesville, VIRGINIA – Four of the six individuals responsible for a crime spree in Albemarle and Greene counties last summer that included a series of armed robberies, kidnappings, an armed home invasion, and a carjacking were sentenced today in federal court in Charlottesville, Acting United States Attorney Rick A. Mountcastle announced.

 

In separate hearings today in the United States District Court for the Western District of Virginia in Charlottesville, Terence Tyree, Kentavia Jones, Jaquarius Johnson and Isaiah Wilson were sentenced to federal prison time for their various roles in the conspiracy.

 

Tyree, 19, of Ruckersville, was sentenced to 360 months in federal prison. Jones, 19, of Earlysville, was sentenced to 225 months in federal prison. Johnson, 19, of Charlottesville, was sentenced to 126 months in federal prison. Tyree, Jones and Johnson were also ordered to pay $4,079 restitution joint and severally to the victims of these crimes. Wilson, 24, of Charlottesville, was sentenced today to 68 months in federal prison. Demetrius Steppe will be sentenced on Friday, July 28, 2017.

 

“This prosecution is an example of the application of Attorney General Sessions’ March 8, 2017 Memorandum announcing the Department of Justice’s Commitment to Targeting Violent Crime,” Acting United States Attorney Rick A. Mountcastle said today. “The Albemarle County Police Department, the Greene County Sheriff’s Office, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation worked together to identify and quickly apprehend these violent criminals before they could do more violence to our citizens. The Albemarle and Greene County offices of the Commonwealth’s Attorney worked together with our office to decide to bring this case in Federal court and our Assistant United States Attorneys ensured that these defendants received appropriate sentences under federal law so that they no longer present a danger to our citizens. The Department’s violent crime strategy targets violent criminals such as these in a common-sense way to make our communities safer for law-abiding citizens.”

 

“The facts of this case are egregious. These violent criminals – who terrorized our central Virginia communities with handguns, sawed-off shotguns, and even an assault rifle– thankfully, no longer pose a threat. The FBI is committed to the Department of Justice’s renewed emphasis on removing violent criminals like these from our streets,” said Adam S. Lee, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI’s Richmond Division. “I want to thank our colleagues at the United States Attorney’s Office for the Western District of Virginia for their expert prosecution of this case and I want to thank our outstanding partners at the Albemarle County Police Department and the Greene County Sheriff’s Office for their collaboration. I’ve said this in similar FBI cases over the past year; Virginia is not a safe place for criminals to operate and victimize our citizens. We are mobilized against you and we will put you in prison for a long, long time.”

 

These four men were responsible for the armed robbery of five commercial establishments throughout June and July 2016. The targets were comprised of convenience stores and pizza restaurants in Albemarle and Greene Counties. In each armed robbery, the defendants – wearing masks, gloves, and dark clothing – entered local businesses and threatened the employees at gunpoint. They stole cash and cell phones from the employees, and fled the store.

 

This violent crime spree culminated with a home invasion, carjacking, kidnapping, and armed robbery, all of which took place on the evening of July 18, 2016. That night, defendants Tyree, Jones, and Johnson broke into an Albemarle County residence by throwing a propane tank through a sliding glass door. The homeowner was inside, alone, and heard the loud explosion. When he went downstairs, he saw three men – later identified as Tyree, Jones, and Johnson – in his living room, armed with a firearm. They forced the victim against the wall and struck him, and then ransacked the house. Afterwards, the defendants commanded the victim to enter his own vehicle in his garage, and they then drove him away from home -- at gunpoint -- to a nearby ATM located at the Wells Fargo bank at the intersection of Route 29 and Airport Road. At that location, the defendants spotted another victim, who was a passerby walking through the parking lot, having just come from the nearby airport with his luggage still in hand. The defendants abducted the man, forcing him into the car at gunpoint. When the first victim was unsuccessful at getting money from the ATM machine, the defendants again forced him back into the car. With the two kidnapping victims in the car, the defendants drove to a nearby 7-11 convenience store and robbed the employees at gunpoint. Soon thereafter, in a nearby neighborhood, the defendants stopped the car and told both victims to get out and both complied. The defendants later abandoned the vehicle, which was later recovered by law enforcement.

 

The investigation of the case was conducted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Albemarle County Police Department and the Greene County Sheriff’s Office, with assistance from the Albemarle County and Greene County Commonwealth Attorneys Offices. Assistant United States Attorneys Ronald M. Huber and Christopher Kavanaugh prosecuted the case for the United States.

Updated July 25, 2017