A local man has been sentenced to prison after pleading guilding to committing at least five robberies at metro-Atlanta drug stores, and for assaulting FBI agents.
Kelvonne D. Charleston, 38, of Lithia Springs, also known as Kelvonne Don Charleston and Kelvonne Dontwelle Charleston, was sentenced by U.S. District Court Judge Thomas W. Thrash to 15 years, eight months in prison to be followed by three years of supervised release, and ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $36,413.15. He was convicted of these charges on June 1, 2017, after he pleaded guilty.
"The defendant was a violent criminal who terrorized ordinary citizens," said U. S. Attorney John Horn. "Once he was caught, Charleston thought he could intimidate the FBI and police by driving his car toward them. He hit several cars, injured several law enforcement officers and caused significant damage."
"The threat of bodily harm, even death, that this defendant posed to every day citizens and law enforcement officials was very real," said David J. LeValley, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI Atlanta Field Office. "Every victim he confronted felt the potential threat of a real gun. It is also clear that he had a complete disregard for human life in his attempt to escape arrest. Thanks to the brave response of FBI agents and police, he poses no further threat to anyone."
"Getting violent criminals off our streets is our priority for our department," said Atlanta Police Chief Erika Shields. "We're grateful to the U.S. Attorney's Office for helping make sure our work on the street is followed up by serious prison time for these serious crimes."
According to U.S. Attorney Horn, the charges and other information presented in court: From late 2013 through May 4, 2015, multiple CVS Pharmacies and other commercial businesses in the metropolitan Atlanta, Georgia, area were robbed by a man using the same method of operation. The man wore a mask or bandana and used what appeared to be a firearm to rob the stores. FBI and police identified a suspect, and found that the same individual was repeatedly showing up in the area of the robberies -- Kelvonne Charleston.
On May 4, 2015, the FBI and police moved in to arrest Charleston as he attempted to enter and rob a CVS pharmacy in Cumming, Georgia. When the agents identified themselves, Charleston turned toward the agents with what they believed was a real firearm. He then ran from them, got in his vehicle, and drove toward two FBI agents with the pistol in his hand. To stop him, the agents fired in self-defense at Charleston and wounded him. However, Charleston still managed to drive past these agents and only came to a stop after he struck two separate FBI vehicles and wrecked his own car.
Despite being wounded, Charleston fought with the agents as they removed him from his car and then discovered the replica of a real firearm. The agents administered lifesaving first aid and paramedics took Charleston to the hospital where he later confessed to robbing several CVS stores.
This case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Atlanta Police Department, Powder Springs Police Department, and Gwinnett County Sheriff's Office.
Assistant U.S. Attorneys Angela Marie Munson and Joseph A. Plummer prosecuted the case.
The U.S. Attorney's Office in Atlanta recommends parents and children learn about the dangers of drugs at the following web site: www.justthinktwice.gov.