By Ashley Cox

MIAMI, Fla. (CW44 News At 10)– U.S. District Judge William P. Dimitrouleas handed down a 30-year federal prison sentence for Bryan David Burke, an Oakland Park man who went on a one-month armed robbery spree in South Florida earlier this year. The judge sentenced a second armed robber, Fort Lauderdale resident Kelvyn Lavon Cross, Jr., to 17 years’ imprisonment.

From February 24 to March 31, Burke robbed 10 stores in Broward and Palm Beach counties at gunpoint (including convenience stores, a liquor store, and a gas station).  During each robbery, Burke pointed a firearm at the store cashier while an accomplice grabbed money, lottery tickets, and other valuables. Burke recruited Kelvyn Lavon Cross Jr. – who was on state probation after serving 13 years in prison for committing multiple robberies – to assist him on six of the robberies.  Cross brandished a firearm during two of those robberies.  On the day of Burke’s arrest, before officers took him into custody, Burke led officers on a high-speed chase, abandoned his vehicle, ran through multiple private backyards, and broke into a home where he had a fist fight with someone inside.  After taking Burke into custody, officers seized two firearms and ammunition from him. Burke tried to discard one of the firearms while fleeing from officers.

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On July 7, Burke pled guilty to five counts of federal robbery (Hobbs Act) and three counts of brandishing a firearm during a crime of violence. On July 28, Cross pled guilty to three counts of federal robbery (Hobbs Act) and two counts of possessing a firearm during a crime of violence.

A third South Florida resident, Brandon Xavier Jones, pled guilty in this case to two counts of federal robbery (Hobbs Act).  Judge Dimitrouleas will sentence Jones on November 19, at 1:15 p.m., in federal district court in Fort Lauderdale.

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Juan Antonio Gonzalez, Acting U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Florida, and Robert Cekada, Special Agent in Charge, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), Miami Field Office, made the announcement.

ATF Miami (Plantation) investigated the case, with assistance from Broward Sheriff’s Office, Fort Lauderdale Police Department, Wilton Manors Police Department, and Delray Beach Police Department. Assistant United States Attorneys Ajay Alexander and Brooke Latta are prosecuting this case. 

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This case stems from Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), a program that brings together all levels of law enforcement and the communities they serve to reduce violent crime and make our neighborhoods safer for everyone.  In 2017, PSN was reinvigorated 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.