Memphis, TN – Robert Drew, 57, of Oakland, TN, was convicted yesterday by a federal jury on two counts of robbery of a business engaged in interstate commerce (Hobbs Act), two counts of using a firearm during a crime of violence; and one count of being a felon in possession of a firearm, announced U.S. Attorney Edward L. Stanton III and ATF Nashville Field Division Special Agent in Charge Jeffrey L. Fulton.
According to the facts alleged in the indictment and revealed during the four-day trial, on December 7, 2012 Drew used a black Rossi .38 caliber revolver in an attempt to rob the KFC restaurant located at 8995 Highway 64, Memphis. He was wearing a blue ski mask and a blue flannel-style jacket. When the cashier fled to the back of the store, Drew left the restaurant empty-handed.
Later that evening, Drew walked into the Hickory Center Market located at 3305 Highway 64, Eads, TN. Wearing the same blue ski mask and blue flannel-style jacket, he pointed the Rossi .38 caliber revolver at the clerk and demanded money. The frightened clerk ran to the back of the store and locked himself in an office. Drew left empty-handed and was apprehended minutes later by officers with the Oakland Police Department hiding in a wooded area within 2000 feet of the store wearing the same blue mask and jacket.
During a search of the area where the defendant was found, Oakland police recovered the Rossi .38 caliber revolver used during the attempted robberies. Both the clerk at the Hickory Center Market and the cashier from KFC testified that Drew was wearing the same clothing as the robber and video surveillance footage from both stores confirmed that to be the case.
The jury deliberated approximately two hours before reaching a unanimous verdict. Drew is scheduled to be sentenced on July 24, 2014 at 10 a.m. before U.S. District Judge John T. Fowlkes. He faces a minimum of 47 years in prison. There is no parole in the federal system.
“Any individual brazen enough to enter a business and threaten the lives of innocent people with a firearm is a clear and present danger to our community,” said U.S. Attorney Stanton. “Today, a jury of his peers sent Mr. Drew an unequivocal message that this conduct will not be tolerated.”
“The success of this investigation is a result of the collaborative efforts of ATF and our local partners,” said ATF Special Agent in Charge Fulton. “This investigation is more evidence that ATF’s commitment to combating violent crime is unwavering. ATF’s Frontline strategy utilizes every available resource to make our communities a safer place to live.”
This case was investigated by the ATF, the Oakland Police Department, and the Memphis Police Department Assistant U.S. Attorney David Biggers and Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Sam Stringfellow represented the government.