North Carolina man sentenced to more than nine years in prison for role in convenience store robbery, carjacking

Published 8:13 am Thursday, September 30, 2021

A Magnolia man was sentenced September 28 to 116 months in prison for his role in a Wilmington convenience store robbery and carjacking that resulted in a car crash at an elementary school, according to a press release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Eastern District of North Carolina.

According to court documents and other information presented in court, Cory Montan Dixon, 40, and a co-defendant donned masks in the early morning hours of August 18, 2019 and robbed the Circle K gas station on Gordon Road in Wilmington.

“Dixon’s co-defendant, Ronald Lee Croll (sentenced earlier this year), brandished a handgun, later determined to be a BB gun, pointed it at the head of the store clerk and demanded money,” stated the release. “After the clerk handed over the cash drawer, the clerk was taken to a back room to retrieve the keys to the clerk’s car. The clerk was then ordered to lay on the floor and an attempt was made to zip tie the clerk’s wrists were together. The two men then took the clerk’s car and fled with the cash drawer and a number of cigarette packs.

“New Hanover County Sheriff’s Deputies spotted the vehicle on Market Street and gave pursuit,” the release continued. “The car tried to elude officers by driving at a high rate of speed through a residential neighborhood, eventually going off the road before crashing into a basketball hoop at Blair Elementary School. Dixon and Croll then fled on foot before being apprehended. Officers recovered zip ties, cash, the BB gun, cigarettes, the cash drawer, and clothing worn during the robbery from the vehicle and along the flight path of the defendants.”

G. Norman Acker III, acting U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of North Carolina, made the announcement after sentencing by U.S. District Judge Louise W. Flanagan. The Federal Bureau of Investigation and New Hanover County Sheriff’s Office investigated the case, the Wilmington Police Department assisted in the response and Assistant U.S. Attorney Bryan Stephany prosecuted the case.

“This case is part of Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), a program bringing together all levels of law enforcement and the communities they serve to reduce violent crime and make our neighborhoods safer for everyone,” stated the release. “The United States Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of North Carolina implements the PSN Program through its Take Back North Carolina Initiative. This initiative emphasizes the regional assignment of federal prosecutors to work with law enforcement and District Attorney’s Offices on a sustained basis in those communities to reduce the violent crime rate, drug trafficking, and crimes against law enforcement.”

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