Nashville, Tenn. (STL.News) – Dionte Breedlove, 25, of Nashville, was found guilty yesterday of robberies affecting interstate commerce and using a firearm during and in relation to crimes of violence, announced U.S. Attorney Don Cochran for the Middle District of Tennessee.
The verdicts were the result of a week-long trial in U.S. District Court where Breedlove was tried for participating in the robberies of the Rite Aid Pharmacy on West End Avenue in Nashville on September 14, 2017, and again on October 9, 2017, during which he shot an unarmed security guard.
Breedlove, along with Carlos Valcarcel-Arocho, 23, also of Nashville, were both charged in August 2018, after an investigation into the robberies determined that Valcarcel-Arocho, an employee of Rite-Aid, was present during each robbery and participated by texting Breedlove when the time was right for him to enter the store. Valcarcel-Arocho posed as a victim during each robbery and helped stuff cash into a bag after opening the safe and cash registers. The investigation also determined that Breedlove and Valcarcel-Arocho had been acquainted for several years. A search warrant later executed at Valcarcel-Arocho’s apartment uncovered several items connected to the robbery. Valcarcel-Arocho pleaded guilty to the charges in June.
During the October 2017 robbery, Breedlove pointed a gun at two employees, including Valcarcel-Arocho, and ordered them to put cash into a bag. The unarmed security guard stood nearby with his arms behind his head. Breedlove then shot him in the chest at close range and held the gun to the back of the head of the other employee while threatening him. The security guard underwent emergency surgery and was hospitalized for several weeks. Doctors were unable to remove a bullet that remains lodged in his spine.
Breedlove faces a mandatory minimum sentence of 17 years, and up to life in prison. Valcarcel-Arocho faces seven years, up to life in prison. Both will be sentenced in February 2020.
This case was investigated by the FBI and the Metropolitan Nashville Police Department. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Philip H. Wehby and Sunny A.M. Koshy prosecuted the case.