Montgomery, Alabama— On October 30, 2020, DeGregory Deon Lee, 24, a resident of Montgomery, Alabama, was sentenced to 205 months in federal prison for his role in committing multiple armed robberies and violating federal firearms laws, announced U.S. Attorney Louis V. Franklin, Sr. and FBI Special Agent in Charge James Jewell. Following his 17-year prison sentence, Lee will be on supervised release for three years. There is no parole in the federal system. He was also ordered to pay $6,957.00 in restitution to the victims.
According to the July 2019 indictment, Lee’s crime spree took place from October 24, 2016 until October 31, 2016, and included the robberies of the ten Montgomery businesses listed below:
- Hyundai Market Store on Woodmere Boulevard, October 24, 2016;
- Midori Sushi Bar on Woodmere Boulevard, October 24, 2016;
- Alabama Hotel on Monticello Drive, October 25, 2016;
- King Garden Restaurant on Atlanta Highway, October 26, 2016;
- San Marcos Restaurant on North Burbank Drive, October 26, 2016;
- China King Restaurant on Zelda Road, October 30, 2016;
- Tai Ji Acupressure store on Minnie Brown Road, October 30, 2016; and
- Satsuki Japanese Restaurant on Atlanta Highway, October 30, 2016;
- New China Restaurant on Harrison Road, October 31, 2016;
- El Campesino 2 Restaurant on the North Eastern Boulevard, October 31, 2016.
Lee pleaded guilty in November 2019 to taking part in the string of armed robberies that occurred with co-defendant, Diamond Markayla Mathis, 24, also from Montgomery. However, evidence indicates that Mathis only participated in six of those crimes, with Lee committing the other four without her. Mathis was sentenced in February 2020 to eleven years in prison for her participation in the robberies.
A firearm was used during each of the robberies and the judge noted the extremely violent nature of the crimes, which included Lee pointing a gun at his victims and Mathis spraying one victim with pepper spray and striking another.
“Our communities continue to be plagued by violent crime,” stated U.S. Attorney Franklin. “The victims of these robberies were simply carrying out their daily activities and working to provide for their families when Lee and his co-defendant injected fear and terror into their lives. Everyone has a right to feel safe, whether at home or at work. This sentence was justified because of Lee’s disregard for the safety and wellbeing of his victims and I hope that it sends a clear message that violence has serious consequences.”
“This type of reckless behavior cannot be tolerated in our communities,” stated Special Agent in Charge Jewell. “The harshness of the court imposed sentence should sound the warning to those who are considering putting the lives of citizens in danger to further their criminal lifestyle.”
The Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Montgomery Police Department investigated this case. Assistant United States Attorney Russ Duraski prosecuted the case.