Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Western District of Missouri
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, February 23, 2016
Kansas City Man Pleads Guilty to Armed Craigslist Robberies
KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Tammy Dickinson, United States Attorney for the Western District of Missouri, announced that a Kansas City, Mo., man pleaded guilty in federal court today to his role in a conspiracy to commit a series of armed robberies against victims who were lured through an advertisement posted on Craigslist.
Debvon Buckner, 24, of Kansas City, pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Roseann Ketchmark to one count of participating in the robbery conspiracy, five counts of aiding and abetting the robberies and one count of aiding and abetting the discharge of a firearm during a crime of violence.
By pleading guilty today, Buckner admitted that he participated in a conspiracy between May 1 and Sept. 19, 2014, to rob several individuals at gunpoint. Buckner knew that co-conspirators robbed a Hispanic family on June 25, 2014, when the victims responded to a false advertisement for a Samsung television on Craigslist. After that robbery, Buckner agreed to be the primary point of contact with the victims, as conspirators continued using Craigslist to lure victims to be robbed. Buckner made initial contact with the victims, while his co-conspirators robbed them at gunpoint.
Buckner admitted that he participated in five additional armed robberies in which conspirators posted false advertisements to buy or sell items on Craigslist in order to entice their victims to meet so that conspirators could steal money and electronics.
July 16, 2014, Armed Robbery and Shooting
The final robbery occurred on the evening of July 16, 2014, when three victims met Buckner at 5500 E. 84th Terrace, Kansas City, Mo., to look at a Hyundai Sonata that was falsely listed for sale in a Craigslist advertisement. Buckner’s two co-conspirators were hiding, armed with firearms. Buckner accompanied two of the victims as they took a test drive in the vehicle and made a purchase offer. Buckner agreed, but stated he needed to call his wife about the purchase and walked away. As he walked away, the two co-conspirators appeared and each pointed a firearm at the victims and demanded money.
The victims tried to return to their car, but Buckner’s conspirators shot the two adult victims multiple times. Conspirators took money and personal property (including a purse that contained $500) from the victims then shot one of the victims again, striking him an additional time. Conspirators fled from the area in the Hyundai Sonata, which was found shortly afterward behind an abandoned house. One of the victims was transported to a local hospital for life-threatening injuries from multiple gunshot wounds.
July 16, 2014, Armed Robbery #2
Earlier on the same day, on the afternoon of July 16, 2014, another victim had been contacted by Buckner, who said he wanted to purchase an XBOX One that the victim had listed for sale on Craigslist. The victim arranged to meet Buckner at Ridge Pointe Apartments in Kansas City, Mo. When he arrived, Buckner approached him and asked to see the XBOX. When the victim handed him the XBOX, Buckner’s two co-conspirators appeared and each pointed a firearm at the victim and demanded the XBOX One, XBOX games, and the accessories. They took those items then fled to their vehicle.
July 17, 2014, Arrest
The next day, Kansas City police detectives located Buckner in the area of East US 40 Highway and Sterling Avenue, Kansas City, Mo., and set up surveillance. When Buckner boarded a metro bus, police officers took him into custody. He possessed the phone that was used to contact several victims and wore the Samsung Galaxy watch that had been stolen from the victim of an earlier robbery.
In addition to the two robberies on July 16, 2014, Buckner admitted to his role in three earlier armed robberies.
July 3, 2014, Armed Robbery
On July 3, 2014, another victim was robbed while trying to buy an XBOX from a Craigslist advertisement. The victim met Buckner at Ridge Pointe Apartments after he had agreed to give him $160 and a Samsung Galaxy watch to buy the XBOX. One co-conspirator was in hiding and armed with a firearm while another co-conspirator waited in the getaway vehicle. When Buckner refused to make the exchange, the victim began walking back to his car. Buckner’s co-conspirator appeared, pointed a firearm at him and demanded money. The two men took the watch and the cash then fled.
June 30, 2014, Armed Robbery
One victim responded on June 30, 2014, to purchase a cell phone that was advertised on Craigslist. She decided not to purchase the phone and began to walk away, when Buckner’s co-conspirators pointed firearms at her and demanded money. After she gave the men $100 they demanded her car keys, cellphone and purse. She pressed the panic button on her car keys and when the alarm sounded, all three of the men ran.
June 30, 2014, Armed Robbery #2
Another victim met Buckner later that night on the same date. She had been contacted about purchasing an XBOX One that she posted for sale on Craigslist. When she arrived (with three other persons, one of whom was a minor) at Ridge Pointe Apartments, Buckner showed her that he had cash to make the purchase. As soon as she took out the XBOX, he took it and ran. Buckner’s co-conspirators, armed with handguns, approached and pointed the guns at the victims in the vehicle. They demanded all of their money, purses, and XBOX games and controllers. One of the victims asked for her purse back, and one of the conspirators said, “Get back in the car or I’ll shoot you” and racked the slide on his gun.
Under federal statutes, Buckner is subject to a mandatory minimum sentence of 10 years in federal prison without parole, up to a sentence of life in federal prison without parole. The maximum statutory sentence is prescribed by Congress and is provided here for informational purposes, as the sentencing of the defendant will be determined by the court based on the advisory sentencing guidelines and other statutory factors. A sentencing hearing will be scheduled after the completion of a presentence investigation by the United States Probation Office.
This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Matthew P. Wolesky and Jess E. Michaelsen. It was investigated by the FBI and the Kansas City, Mo., Police Department.