U.S. Attorney’s Office
Eastern District of Tennessee
(865) 545-4167
September 25, 2014

Chattanooga Man Sentenced to 108 Months for Attempted Armed Robbery of Jewelry Store

CHATTANOOGA, TN—On Sept. 25, 2014, Diontre Danforth, 19, of Chattanooga, Tenn., was sentenced to serve 108 months in federal prison by the Honorable Curtis L. Collier, U.S. District Judge. Upon his release from prison Danforth will be subject to the supervision of the U.S. Probation Office for three years. There is no parole in the federal system.

Danforth pleaded guilty in June 2014 to aiding and abetting the brandishing of a firearm during and in relation to a crime of violence and an attempted Hobbs Act robbery. In his plea agreement on file with the U.S. District Court, Danforth admitted that he and co-defendant Gerald Jackson attempted to rob the Kennedy Jewelry store in August 2013. Jackson entered the store wearing a “Scream” mask. He was armed with an assault rifle, which he immediately used to fire a round towards the back of the store, where multiple employees and a customer were standing. Danforth had followed Jackson into the store with a laundry basket and pillowcase outstretched in his hands, which the two had planned to use to collect the merchandise that they intended to steal. However, before they were able to get any jewelry, one of the store’s managers began firing back at Jackson. Jackson and Danforth then sprinted for their own safety, with Jackson continuing to fire back at the store even after the two were outside. Jackson has also been charged and is in custody pending trial in U.S District Court, Chattanooga.

Law enforcement agencies participating in the investigation included the Chattanooga Police Department and Federal Bureau of Investigation. Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Meredith J. Edwards represented the United States.

This case was brought as part of Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), a comprehensive national strategy that creates local partnerships with law enforcement agencies to effectively enforce existing gun laws. It provides more options to prosecutors, allowing them to utilize local, state, and federal laws to ensure that criminals who commit gun crime face tough sentences. PSN gives each federal district the flexibility it needs to focus on individual challenges that a specific community faces.

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