Cherokee County Man Guilty in Armed Robbery Crime Spree
TYLER, TX—A 22-year-old Jacksonville, Texas man has pleaded guilty in connection with a violent crime spree targeting area businesses in the Eastern District of Texas announced U.S. Attorney John M. Bales today.
Jonathan Roshard Brown pleaded guilty to interfering with interstate commerce by robbery (Hobbs Act conspiracy) and possessing a firearm during a crime of violence today before U.S. Magistrate Judge K. Nicole Mitchell.
According to information presented in court, Brown and three co-defendants conspired to commit robbery, which unlawfully obstructed, delayed, and affected commerce in violation of federal law. Specifically, they committed four armed robberies in Jacksonville during a crime spree that began on October 2, 2011, when Brown and two others stole $9,465 from the Walmart Supercenter in Jacksonville. On November 2, 1012, Brown and two others robbed the Razorback Grocery on Hwy 69 in Jacksonville. Brown brandished a handgun and demanded money from the owner. Razorback Grocery suffered a loss of approximately $16,000 in cash and $6,900 in Texas lottery tickets. On November 16, 2012, Brown and two others again robbed the owner of the Razorback Grocery while he was waiting in the commercial drive-thru line at the Austin Bank on West Commerce Street in Jacksonville. During the robbery, Brown fired a handgun, striking the victim. The bullet passed through the victim’s hand, throat, and shoulder. The victim survived after being airlifted to a Tyler hospital. The defendants obtained an undetermined amount of cash from the victim’s vehicle. The armed robbery resulted in the closure of Razorback Grocery and the temporary closure of Austin Bank. On November 23, 2012, Brown and another person attempted to rob the owner of the Fast Fuel on Hwy 69 in Jacksonville. The owner was able to strike Brown and flee.
Brown faces up to 20 years in federal prison for the Hobbs Act violation and a minimum of 10 years in federal prison for the firearms violation. A sentencing date has not been set. This case is being prosecuted as part of the Project Safe Neighborhoods Initiative. Project Safe Neighborhoods is aimed at reducing gun and gang violence; deterring illegal possession of guns, ammunition, and body armor; and improving the safety of residents in the Eastern District of Texas. Participants in the initiative include community members and organizations, as well as federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies. This case is being investigated by the FBI East Texas Gang Initiative and the Jacksonville Police Department, with assistance from the Cherokee County District Attorney’s Office. This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Richard Moore.