November 24, 2020

Getaway driver of two armed robberies convicted by federal jury

A federal jury Wednesday convicted the getaway driver of aiding and abetting in two armed robberies in Tuscaloosa, announced U.S. Attorney Jay E. Town and Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms Special Agent in Charge Marcus Watson.

The jury returned its guilty verdict against Jemarkus Vonsha Thompson, 25, of York, Ala., after three days of testimony before U.S. District Judge L. Scott Coogler. The jury found Thompson guilty of two counts of Hobbs Act Robbery and two counts of carrying and brandishing a firearm during and in relation to a violent crime.

“Thompson has been brought to justice and potentially faces decades in a federal prison,” Town said. “These crimes are far too prevalent in the Northern District and thus our local, state and federal law enforcement agencies will remain the phalanx to not only police violent crime, but defeat it.”

“Reducing the potential for violent crime in this case was critical due to ATF partnering with our state, local and federal partners,” Watson said. “ATF’s Crime Gun Intelligence leverages technology to reduce violent firearms related crimes.”

Evidence at trial proved that on November 26, 2017, Thompson was the driver of the suspect vehicle used to rob the Quick Stop Tobacco and Snack, and Subway in Tuscaloosa, on Old Greensboro Road.

Testimony showed that the two co-defendants robbed the two stores at gun point using an assault style rifle, while Thompson remained in the vehicle.

Cell phone tower information placed Thompson at the scene of both crimes. Thompson and the two co-defendants were stopped by Tuscaloosa police minutes after the robberies, where evidence of both crimes were found in their possession, including money, receipts and the firearms.

The maximum penalty for Hobbs Act Robbery is 20 years in prison. Carrying and brandishing a firearm during a crime of violence carries a mandatory sentence of 7 years in prison per count, to be served consecutively to any other sentence imposed for the crime.

ATF investigated the case along with the Tuscaloosa Police Department, which Assistant U.S Attorney Brad Felton and Allison Garnett are prosecuting.