A Mesquite man has been sentenced to 25 years in federal prison for violent criminal activity in the Eastern District of Texas, announced U.S. Attorney Damien M. Diggs today.
Tony Sullivan, 28, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to interfere with interstate commerce by robbery; aiding and abetting; conspiracy to kidnap; using, carrying, and brandishing a firearm during and in relation to a crime of violence. Sullivan was sentenced to 300 months in federal prison on July 26, 2023, by U.S. District Judge Amos Mazzant.
“Sullivan has been justly punished for subjecting innocent victims to his spree of violence between April 2019 and August 2019,” said U.S. Attorney Damien M. Diggs. “Today’s sentence sends a powerful message to those who use violence and fear to carry out their crimes.”
“The defendant targeted a close-knit community of successful business owners, inciting fear throughout the metroplex. His victims were stalked and terrorized, some for hours and some to the brink of death, and all have a long road of recovery ahead,” said Dallas FBI Special Agent in Charge Chad Yarbrough. “Law enforcement utilized proactive investigative techniques that thwarted future attacks and led to the dismantlement of a criminal enterprise that had no intention of stopping. We cannot allow violent crimes to erode the value of community in our hometowns; law enforcement will continue to work together to bring violent offenders to justice and protect our residents.”
According to information presented in court, the FBI began an investigation into a series of home invasion type robbery incidents between April 2019 and December 2019 that targeted owners and operators of donut stores in the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex area. The robberies occurred late in the evening or very early in the morning before the shopkeepers departed for work.
The assailants would force their way into the home and assault the home’s occupants. Victims were often beat with baseball bats and bound with duct tape while being held at gunpoint. At least nine robberies have been attributed to this crime spree.
Due to the times of the robberies coinciding with the times the victims would have been leaving their residences to open their businesses, agents concluded the suspects had to have conducted physical surveillance to determine where the victims lived and when the victims would have been leaving their residences.
On the evening of July 8, 2019, officers in Euless, Texas, received a call from a witness reporting an individual stumbling down his street with his hands bound by tape. The victim had a bleeding head wound and was transported to a hospital.
The victim advised he returned home from his donut shop in Dallas to find two suspects in his residence. He was bound and beat with a baseball bat and ordered to open a safe. The assailants left with the victim’s car keys, cellular phone, approximately $9,500 from the safe, and approximately $900 from his wallet. Law enforcement agents utilized footage from surveillance videos, cell phone site data, and data extracted from cellular phones to determine Sullivan participated in the attack.