Ex-inmate robbed gun dealer while hyping prisoner re-entry

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NORFOLK, Va. (AP) — A Virginia man who was lauded for turning his life around after getting out of prison now faces nearly 16 years imprisonment for robbery.

Thirty-three-year-old Desmond Littlejohn of Norfolk was sentenced Tuesday for robbing a gun dealer in 2017.

Court documents show he robbed the owner and an employee of Mac’s Reloads. The business is licensed federal firearms and ammunition dealer. Littlejohn and his co-conspirator were friends with a former employee of Mac’s Reloads, who provided them with inside information to help them successfully pull off a robbery of the store.

On the day of the robbery, Littlejohn and his co-conspirator waited until 3 a.m. for the owner and an employee of Mac’s Reloads to return from a gun show in Philadelphia.

During the robbery, Littlejohn and his partner dressed in dark clothes and ski masks. They ambushed the owner and the employee with guns. They demanded that the owner hand over a black bag, which they knew contained approximately $10,000 in proceeds from the gun show.

They threatened the owner and the employee that they would kill them if they didn't comply. The owner and employee were forced at gunpoint to lie on the ground while they made their escape, according to court records.

As the robbers were driving away, they tossed the contents of the black bag on to the road, with the exception of the money.

The Virginian-Pilot reports the robbery occurred shortly before Littlejohn discussed how he had gotten out of prison and become a productive member of society with government leaders. He also posed for photos with the head of the Virginia Department of Corrections and U.S. Rep. Bobby Scott.

In court documents, Littlejohn's attorney asked for lenience, saying Littlejohn had spoken to groups about prisoner re-entry and was committed to turning his life around.

Prosecutors said Littlejohn's participation in the re-entry program while simultaneously committing armed robbery made a mockery of the justice system.

“Individuals such as these who are brazen enough to commit armed robberies are clear and present dangers to our community,” said Special Agent in Charge Ashan M. Benedict, ATF Washington Field Division. “The sentence in this case sends an unequivocal message that this conduct will not be tolerated and provide further evidence of ATF’s commitment to combating violent crime by utilizing all available resources to make our communities safer.”