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home : state news : state news April 14, 2021

2/17/2021 3:23:00 PM
Gastonia Man Sentenced To 9-1/2 Years For Armed Robbery

Department Of Justice
Press Release

CHARLOTTE, N.C. – Yakotus Odum, 31, of Gastonia, was sentenced late yesterday (Feb. 16, 2021) to 114 months in prison and five years of supervised release in connection with the 2018 armed robbery of a convenience store, announced Andrew Murray, U.S. Attorney for the Western District of North Carolina. U.S. District Judge Max O. Cogburn Jr. presided over the hearing.

Robert R. Wells, Special Agent in Charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Charlotte Division, and Chief Travis Brittain of the Gastonia Police Department are joining U.S. Attorney Murray in making today’s announcement.

On September 25, 2020, a federal jury convicted Odum of Hobbs Act robbery, possession of a firearm in furtherance of a crime of violence, and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon. According to court documents, evidence presented at Odum’s trial, and court hearings, on March 31, 2018, Odum robbed a Circle K convenience store located at 516 Cox Road in Gastonia. Trial evidence established that Odum stole approximately $100 from the cash register at gunpoint. On April 14, 2018, in a second incident, Odum illegally possessed a stolen firearm. Odum was on supervised release for a previous federal felony conviction for illegal firearm possession when he committed the armed robbery.

Odum is currently in federal custody and upon designation of a federal facility he will be transferred into custody of the Federal Bureau of Prisons.

The investigation was handled by the FBI and the Gastonia Police Department. The prosecution for the government was handled by Assistant U.S. Attorney David Kelly and Special Assistant U.S. Attorney (SAUSA) Stephanie Spaugh. Ms. Spaugh is a state prosecutor with the office of the 26th Prosecutorial District and was assigned by District Attorney Spencer Merriweather to serve as a SAUSA with the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Charlotte. Ms. Spaugh is duly sworn in both state and federal courts. The SAUSA position is a reflection of the partnership between the office of the 26th Prosecutorial District and the United States Attorney’s Office.

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