CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. – Dale Clark, 47, of Shelbyville, was sentenced to 20 years in federal prison for Hobbs Act robbery, possessing a firearm as a convicted felon, and using a firearm during a federal crime of violence before the Honorable Travis R. McDonough in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Tennessee at Chattanooga. The convictions and sentence resulted from a plea agreement between Clark and the United States.
Court documents reflect that after 10 p.m., on July 21, 2019, Clark entered the Chally Wally convenience store in Shelbyville, and pointed a handgun at the clerk while demanding money. Clark then went behind the counter, grabbed the clerk violently by the hair, and pointed the gun at her head while forcing her to the ground. The clerk handed the money over, and was forced into a backroom. Clark threatened to “blow her head off,” before striking her in the head and leaving the store with the stolen money.
Following a successful investigation, Shelbyville police officers obtained arrest and search warrants for Clark and his residence. During the search, a K-9 officer was able to locate and remove Clark from the attic, where he was hiding. In the home, officers found clothing, a mask, and a gun that all matched the robber’s from surveillance footage obtained from the convenience store. The stolen money was not recovered, as Clark admitted to using the money to pay off drug debts.
At the time of the offense, Clark was a convicted felon and was prohibited from possessing a firearm. Court records show that due to Clark’s prior lengthy criminal history, he qualified to be sentenced as an armed career criminal.
Assistant United States Attorney Joe DeGaetano represented the United States.
The case resulted from an investigation by the Shelbyville Police Department and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF).
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. Attorney General Jeff Sessions reinvigorated PSN in 2017 as part of the Department’s 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.