Saturday, January 9, 2010

Armed Robber Sentenced to Life in Prison

ADOLPHUS DIXON, 43, of Atlanta, Georgia, was sentenced January 7 by United States District Judge Charles A. Pannell, Jr. to serve life in federal prison on charges of armed commercial robbery, brandishing a firearm in furtherance of a crime of violence and attempted bank robbery.

Acting United States Attorney Sally Quillian Yates said of the case, “After having been convicted twice of armed robbery, this defendant committed five more armed robberies, victimizing the stores that provide us with the basic supplies that we use in our daily lives. He violently robbed those stores with a gun and endangered the lives of hard working employees and unsuspecting customers. He will no longer be able to terrorize this community.”

DIXON was sentenced to life in prison under the federal “three-strikes” statute which requires federal judges to impose a life sentence when a person is convicted of a serious violent felony and the government proves that the person was convicted on separate prior occasions of two or more serious violent felonies. On October 16, 2009, DIXON was convicted of five counts of commercial robbery, five counts of brandishing a firearm during a crime of violence and attempted bank robbery.

According to Acting United States Attorney Yates, the charges and other information presented in court: During a five-day period between September 10 and September 15, 2008, DIXON robbed three “Family Dollar” Stores, a “Super IGA” grocery store, a “Rite Aid” Pharmacy and attempted to rob a “SunTrust” bank. DIXON's co-defendant, CHRISTOPHER SMITH, 37, also of Atlanta, participated in the Family Dollar Store robberies in Atlanta, Georgia. During the Family Dollar Store robberies, DIXON and SMITH entered the stores, pretended to make a purchase and took money from cash registers after pointing a pistol at store cashiers. DIXON used a similar ruse during the armed robbery of a Super IGA grocery store in Atlanta, Georgia before pointing a pistol at a cashier and taking money from a cash register as other employees fled from the front of the store. Similarly, DIXON entered the Rite Aid Pharmacy in Atlanta, Georgia and pretended to make a purchase before pointing a pistol at the cashier and removing cash from the register. DIXON also posed as a customer of a SunTrust Bank branch in Douglasville, Georgia and handed the bank teller a note demanding all the cash in the drawer. The bank teller was able to alert bank employees and DIXON fled the bank without receiving any money. The Federal Bureau of Investigation was able to identify DIXON and SMITH from video surveillance and descriptions of the robbers and the getaway vehicle which was registered to DIXON. Additionally, on September 12, 2008, officers with the Atlanta Police Department identified DIXON and SMITH during a traffic stop of a vehicle that matched descriptions of the getaway vehicle.

At sentencing, the Government proved that DIXON had two previous serious violent felony convictions for armed robbery and armed bank robbery in Georgia.

DIXON’s co-defendant, SMITH, was convicted of charges related to the three Family Dollar Store robberies on September 25, 2009, and was sentenced to serve 22 years in federal prison.

The case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Atlanta Police Department and the Douglasville Police Department.

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