Police chief describes investigation that led to robbery gang arrests

JACKSONVILLE, TX (KLTV) - Four Jacksonville men were indicted Monday in connection with what authorities are calling a "violent crime spree" that targeted several local businesses.

Jonathan Roshard Brown, 21, was arrested in December 2012 and Michael Dangelio Johnson, 25, was arrested in April for their roles in the spree.

Maurice Deshun Jones, 30, and Willie Duane Rogers, 24, were arrested on Sunday.

All four are named in an 8-count federal indictment that includes charges of Hobbs Act conspiracy and Hobbs Act robbery.

Jacksonville Police Chief Reece Daniel can easily describe the four men.

"They're what we term in law enforcement as 'frequent flyers,'" said Daniel. "People that all of the police officers know."

Daniel says his department has been keeping an eye on the four for at least seven years now.

"Criminal enterprise gangs are gangs that are loosely knit. They run together, they borrow cars, they borrow guns from each other, and they'll get together and two or three of them may do this robbery, then two or three will do another robbery, but they all tend to share in the proceeds," Daniel said.

Authorities say the men are alleged to have committed four armed robberies in Jacksonville, the first being on October 2, 2011, when Brown, Jones, and Rogers stole more than $9,000 from the Jacksonville Walmart.

On November 2, 2012, Brown, Jones, and Rogers robbed the Razorback Grocery north of Jacksonville, brandishing a gun and demanding money from the store's 66-year-old owner, Louise Barnett. They left with approximately $16,000 in cash and almost $7,000 in lottery tickets.

Just two weeks later, all four men robbed Barnett again while she waited in her car to deposit money at Austin Bank. Brown fired at Barnett and hit her in the hand, throat, and shoulder. She was airlifted to a Tyler hospital.

Mrs. Barnett survived the shooting at the Austin Bank back in November, but the Razorback Grocery has never reopened.

Authorities say Brown and Jones attempted to rob another Jacksonville convenience store the next week, but the owner struck Brown and fled the scene.

Daniel says cracking this case was the result of months of long, hard work.

"I think after this, anybody stupid enough to commit an armed robbery in Jacksonville probably needs to go to jail, because they see what happens when they do," Daniel said.

The defendants will be arraigned in federal court on Wednesday.

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