Robber sentenced to 109 years

Published 10:34 am Friday, January 7, 2011

WILMINGTON – A 21-year-old Battleboro man, in all likelihood, may never again enjoy life outside prison walls.

For the role he played in a series of armed robberies in 2008, including two in Northampton County, Dexter Broadnax was sentenced Wednesday to 1,308 months imprisonment (109 years).

United States Attorney George E.B. Holding made the announcement, saying Senior United States District

Judge James C. Fox passed down the sentence.

The Court also imposed $9,708.78 in restitution.

On January 29, 2010, a jury found Broadnax guilty of

conspiring to commit robberies of a business in interstate

commerce, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 1951; robbery of six businesses engaged in interstate commerce, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 1951; four counts of possession of a firearm in furtherance of a federal crime of violence, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 924(c); and unlawful possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Sections 922(g) and 924.

A Federal Grand Jury returned a superseding criminal indictment on October 14, 2009.

The investigation returned information that during a week in September, 2008, Broadnax, along with co-defendants Johnny Draughn and Terrell Cooke, while brandishing firearms, robbed several convenience stores and gas stations. These robberies included the L&L Food Store in Sharpsburg, the New Dixie Mart #13 in Roanoke Rapids, the Village Grocery #2 in Gaston, the Blue Flame Gas station in Gaston and the Salem and Sons Gas Station in Rocky Mount.

During the last robbery, on September 23, 2008, the bandits were apprehended. That robbery occurred at Roanoke Rapid’s Blue Flame Gas Station, where two men, brandishing firearms, demanded money and fled with $4,730.41. A witness arriving as the robbers fled the store gave police a description of the get-away vehicle and officers were able to locate it minutes after the robbery.

Draughn was in the vehicle where officers observed the money from the robbery. A further search of the car revealed money bags from the Blue Flame robbery in Gaston along with a Bryco 9mm semi-automatic pistol. Broadnax was found near the gas station.

Holding commented, “This sentence reflects the seriousness of the offenses the defendant committed and we are pleased with the outcome. We will continue to seek stiff sentences for those who put the lives of others in jeopardy.”

This case was part of the Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN) which encourages federal, state and local agencies to cooperate in a unified “team effort” against gun crime, targeting repeat offenders who continually plague their communities.

Investigation of this case was conducted by the Bureau of

Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives; the Roanoke Rapids Police Department; the Sharpsburg Police Department; the Gaston Police Department and the Rocky Mount Police Department.

Assistant United States Attorney Jane Jackson represented the government.

About Cal Bryant

Cal Bryant, a 40-year veteran of the newspaper industry, serves as the Editor at Roanoke-Chowan Publications, publishers of the Roanoke-Chowan News-Herald, Gates County Index, and Front Porch Living magazine.

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