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RICHMOND, Va. – A Richmond man was sentenced today to 15 years in prison for discharging a firearm during an armed robbery in Petersburg.

According to court documents, in November 2014, Deontae J. Hargrave, 28, committed an armed robbery of a 7-Eleven convenience store in Petersburg. When demanding money from the cashier, Hargrave fired a .40 caliber round of ammunition into the display case behind the cashier. Hargrave obtained approximately $40 and three packs of cigarettes from the robbery. Subsequently, Hargrave sent a threatening letter to a detective investigating a crime he was allegedly involved in.

In 2015, Hargrave pleaded guilty and was sentenced to a total of 237 months in prison. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit affirmed Hargrave’s convictions for the armed robbery (count one) and discharge of the firearm during the robbery (count two). The court, however, determined that the sentencing judge needed to more fully explain why he imposed a 15-year sentence on count two, as opposed to the mandatory minimum of 10 years. Following remand, sentencing judge again imposed a 15-year sentence on count two.

This case is part of Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), a program bringing together all levels of law enforcement and the communities they serve to reduce violent crime and make our neighborhoods safer for everyone. The Department of Justice reinvigorated PSN in 2017 as part of a renewed focus on targeting violent criminals, directing all U.S. Attorney’s Offices to work in partnership with federal, state, local, and tribal law enforcement and the local community to develop effective, locally-based strategies to reduce violent crime.

G. Zachary Terwilliger, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia, and Ashan M. Benedict, Special Agent in Charge of the ATF’s Washington Field Division, made the announcement after sentencing by Senior U.S. District Judge Robert E. Payne.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Kenneth Simon prosecuted the case.

A copy of this press release is located on the website of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Virginia. Related court documents and information are located on the website of the District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia or on PACER by searching for Case No. 3:15-cr-37.

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