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Violent North Texas Criminals Sentenced To Federal Prison

SHERMAN, Texas – U.S. Attorney Damien M. Diggs announced that Judge Jeremy Kernodle sentenced three men to federal prison for violent crimes committed in Grayson and Tarrant Counties.

According to information presented in court, on October 3, 2020, Brian Deboris Black, 33, Jason Von Brown, 44, and Kenneth Holt, 44, robbed a Dollar General store in Tom Bean, Texas.  During the robbery, Black brandished a firearm and threatened to kill the three employees in the store if they did not comply with his demands. As Black exited the store, he pointed the gun at individuals standing outside the door of the convenience store, threatening to shoot them as well.

On October 13, 2020, Black and Brown committed a home invasion robbery in Mansfield, Texas. They entered the home at gunpoint, kidnapped three family members, restrained them with zip ties, and demanded money while threatening to kill them if they did not comply.  Black shot the homeowner’s son in the stomach and his right arm after he was able to free himself from the zip ties. The victim, who testified at trial, survived the shooting but sustained permanent injuries. During the investigation, they determined that Brandon Abram, 42, orchestrated the entire home invasion based on his belief that the family had $10 million at their residence.

Black proceeded to trial on May 16, 2023. Co-defendant testimony, DNA, home security video, and cell phone analysis were instrumental in securing Black’s conviction for robbery, carrying a firearm during a crime of violence, and kidnapping. The court sentenced Black to 489 months.

Brown pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit kidnapping, aiding, and abetting, and they sentenced him to 180 months.

Abram pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit kidnapping, aiding, and abetting, and they sentenced him to 200 months.

Holt pleaded guilty to his role in the conspiracy to rob Dollar General, and on October 25, 2022, he was sentenced to 96 months in prison. The court ordered they pay restitution to the victims of the offenses.

“The commission of violent crimes such as these—threatening, shooting, and injuring innocent people we will not tolerate,” said U.S. Attorney Diggs. “The sentences that these defendants received demonstrate that justice for the victims was served and our communities will be safer as a result.  Black, who was the most violent member of the crew, effectively received a life sentence and ensured that he would no longer be a threat to society.”

The joint federal, state, and local Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN) Program, the centerpiece of the Department of Justice’s violent crime reduction efforts, prosecuted the case. PSN is an evidence-based program that has proven effective in reducing violent crime. Through PSN, a broad spectrum of stakeholders work together to identify the community’s most pressing violent crime problems and develop comprehensive solutions to address them. As part of this strategy, PSN focuses enforcement efforts on the most violent offenders and partners with locally based prevention and reentry programs for lasting reductions in crime.

The FBI’s Sherman Resident Agency, Tom Bean Police Department, Whitewright Police Department, Sherman Police Department, Tarrant County Sheriff’s Office, Tarrant County Medical Examiner’s Office, and the Texas Department of Public Safety Crime Lab investigated the case. Assistant U.S. Attorney Tracey M. Batson and former Assistant U.S. Attorney Ernest Gonzalez prosecuted the case.