HAMMOND-Altonio Dequan Benson, 30, of Detroit, Michigan, was sentenced by U.S. District Court Chief Judge Jon E. DeGuilio to 84 months of imprisonment and ordered to pay $422,552.99 in restitution following his guilty plea to robbery affecting interstate commerce, announced Acting United States Attorney Tina L. Nommay.
According to documents filed in the case, on January 25, 2019, Altonio Dequan Benson, Darren Bell, and an unidentified third individual robbed Jared the Galleria of Jewelry in Hobart, Indiana. With employees and customers watching, Benson and the third individual smashed the jewelry store’s display cases, after which Benson, Bell, and the third individual took over $1,000,000 worth of jewelry and fled. Bell and Benson were arrested while attempting to flee on foot, and approximately $580,000 of the jewelry was recovered. The third unidentified individual fled in a vehicle. Benson has seven prior felony convictions, including convictions for fleeing law enforcement, felon in possession of a firearm, and attempted delivery of a controlled substance, and he was on felony probation at the time he committed the robbery. On December 15, 2020, codefendant Darren Bell was sentenced to 39 months in prison and was ordered to pay $422,552.99 in restitution for his role in the offense.
This case is the result of the investigative efforts of the Federal Bureau of Investigation Gang Response Investigative Team and the Hobart Police Department. This case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Nicholas J. Padilla.