Lakeland Man Sentenced To 28 Years For 13 Armed Robberies

Tampa, Florida – U.S. District Judge Virginia M. Hernandez Covington has sentenced Scott Carpenter, Jr. (46, Lakeland) to 28 years in federal prison for interference with commerce by robbery and brandishing a firearm during and in relation to a crime of violence. The court also ordered Carpenter to forfeit three firearms and 122 rounds of ammunition, which are traceable to his offenses. Carpenter also must pay $22,220.52 in restitution to victims, which represents the proceeds of his offenses. Carpenter entered a guilty plea on November 14, 2023.

According to court documents, between August 2018 and August 2021, Carpenter committed at least 13 commercial armed robberies victimizing businesses in Lakeland, Auburndale, St. Petersburg, Tampa, Brandon, Zephyrhills, Gibsonton, and Temple Terrace. All but one of the robberies victimized Dollar Tree store employees and followed the same pattern. Carpenter dressed in all black and waited for the targeted Dollar Tree store to close for the night. Then, as the store employee carrying the day’s proceeds either walked to his/her car in the store parking lot, or after the store employee drove to a nearby bank and prepared to drop the proceeds into night deposit box, Carpenter jumped out, accosted the store employee, brandished a gun, threatened the store employee, and demanded that the employee surrender the money. Law enforcement officers subsequently searched Carpenter’s home and truck where they found guns and clothing that he had used during the robberies.

This case was investigated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. It was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Michael M. Gordon.

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 gun violence, and to make our neighborhoods safer for everyone. On May 26, 2021, the Department launched a violent crime reduction strategy strengthening PSN based on these core principles: fostering trust and legitimacy in our communities, supporting community-based organizations that help prevent violence from occurring in the first place, setting focused and strategic enforcement priorities, and measuring the results.

Originally published at https://www.justice.gov/usao-mdfl/pr/lakeland-man-sentenced-28-years-13-armed-robberies

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