North Carolina man sentenced to 19 years in prison in connection with four armed robberies

Published 8:32 am Thursday, April 13, 2023

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A Raleigh man was sentenced on Tuesday, April 4, 2023 to 228 months in prison for charges related to four armed robberies in Raleigh, according to a press release from the U.S. Department of Justice, Eastern District of North Carolina.

According to court records and evidence presented in court, Ira Burnett, 34, committed four armed robberies in Raleigh between June 27, 2021 and July 5, 2021. He displayed a weapon to rob a Family Dollar, two Walgreens and Sky Blue Tobacco, all located in Raleigh, stated the release.

On June 29, 2021, a “be on the look-out” – or B.O.L.O. – announcement was made public by the Raleigh Police Department, which included two photos of Burnett taken from video surveillance footage from Family Dollar. “Burnett displayed or brandished a weapon to the clerks in each location. He attempted to disguise his identity by wearing a sweatshirt, a mask, and the same Fox Racing hat during each robbery,” stated the release. “He was also observed driving the same grey in color vehicle in each location. Less than 20 minutes after his last robbery, a manager at a gas station on Wake Crossroads called police as she recognized Burnett from the B.O.L.O announcement and believed he had just left the gas station. The manager was able to provide the police with video footage and photo evidence of the vehicle Burnett was driving, a grey Nissan, which enabled police to track down the owner of the vehicle.”

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On July 6, 2021, the Raleigh Police Department executed a search warrant at the residence of the owner of the grey Nissan. According to the release, recovered as a result of the search was a loaded .357 caliber revolver, two sweatshirts that resembled what Burnett wore during the robberies and a Fox Racing hat.

Burnett was indicted for the robberies on September 7, 2022 and pleaded guilty to all four robberies on January 4, 2023.

Michael F. Easley, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of North Carolina, made the announcement after sentencing by U.S. District Judge Terrence W. Boyle. The Raleigh Police Department and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives investigated the case and Assistant U.S. Attorney Leonard Champaign prosecuted.