Serial Armed Robbers Who Robbed Four Metroplex Jewelry Stores Arrested on Federal Charges
|U.S. Attorney’s Office May 22, 2014|
DALLAS—Two men who are charged with recently committing the armed robberies of four jewelry stores in Dallas and Lewisville, Texas, were arrested this morning on federal charges, announced U.S. Attorney Sarah R. Saldaña of the Northern District of Texas.
Mark D. Whitfield, 35, of Mesquite, Texas, and Michael Demon Jackson, 37, of Dallas, are each charged in a federal criminal complaint with conspiracy to commit robbery and using, carrying and brandishing a firearm in relation to a crime of violence. They each made their initial appearance before U.S. Magistrate Judge Irma C. Ramirez this afternoon in federal court in Dallas and were detained.
According to the complaint, Whitfield and Jackson committed the following armed robberies:
|October 18, 2013||Marquise Jewelers 13331 Preston Road, Dallas|
|February 4, 2014||Marquise Jewelers 13331 Preston Road, Dallas|
|February 24, 2014||Classic Jewelers 2401 S. I-35E (Vista Ridge Mall), Lewisville, Texas|
|April 29, 2014||Gianni’s Jewelers 2401 S. I-35E (Vista Ridge Mall), Lewisville, Texas|
Generally, during each robbery, the two men would enter the store and one would ask to see diamond rings. The other man, armed with a pistol, would force the victim store employee to the floor while jewelry in display cases was taken at gunpoint. In-store video surveillance recorded all robberies. On two of these robberies, witnesses observed the robbers fleeing in a red car.
The investigation revealed that a 2010 Mitsubishi Galant, stopped for a traffic violation on February 15, 2014, matched the getaway vehicle’s description. The citation report listed Whitfield as the driver and Jackson as the passenger. The vehicle was registered to Whitfield’s wife.
The investigation further revealed that Jackson was arrested on a state charge of unlawful possession of a firearm by a felon on March 13, 2014, when he was found with a loaded firearm during another traffic stop. He was released on bond the following day.
A federal complaint is a written statement of the essential facts of the offenses charged and must be made under oath before a magistrate judge. A defendant is entitled to the presumption of innocence until proven guilty. The maximum statutory penalty for the conspiracy count is five years in federal prison and a $250,000 fine. The maximum statutory penalty for the firearm offense is life in federal prison and a $250,000 fine. The government has 30 days to present the matter to a federal grand jury for indictment.
The Dallas FBI Violent Crimes Task Force, the Dallas Police Department, and the Lewisville Police Department are conducting the ongoing investigation. Deputy Criminal Chief Assistant U.S. Attorney Gary Tromblay, Assistant U.S. Attorney Lisa Miller, and Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Lara Burns are prosecuting.