Wednesday, June 16, 2021

Trio Faces Long Sentences for Kidnapping CU, Bank Employees in Robberies

Two men and a woman will be sentenced in September for kidnapping employees and using them to rob more than $600,000 from a credit union and two banks.

After a four-day federal jury trial, Antonio Johnson, 44; Travis Jackson, 37; and Shalundra Johnson, 39; were found guilty on multiple felony charges of kidnapping, bank robbery and firearms possession, Acting U.S. Attorney Joseph C. Murphy Jr. in Memphis, Tenn., said last week.

After an employee of the $750 million First South Financial Credit Union arrived at her home at about 6:15 p.m. on April 4, 2019, Antonio Johnson and Jackson, who were armed, zip-tied the employee’s wrists and demanded the keys to the credit union. The victim, along with her three-year-old child, were forced into her personal car. Eventually, the credit union employee was taken to the credit union where the criminals stole $425,000.

According to prosecutors, Shalundra Johnson placed a tracking device on the car belonging to the credit union employee, who worked at First South Financial’s Whitehaven branch at 1250 East Shelby Dr. in Memphis. The employee’s home was about six miles away in Horn Lake, Miss.

On Sept. 14, 2018, at approximately 2:15 a.m., an employee of Trustmark Bank’s branch at 4572 Elvis Presley Blvd. in Memphis, got off work from her second job and arrived home. As she was walking into her home, one of the two men grabbed her at gunpoint and pushed her inside of the residence. The victim was zip-tied and taken to the bank to complete the robbery in which approximately $73,400 was stolen.

And on Dec. 7, 2018, at approximately 7:18 p.m., an employee of First Tennessee Bank at 4180 Elvis Presley Blvd. in Memphis arrived home from work. While in her driveway, one of the two men, who was armed and wearing a mask, forced the bank employee into the passenger seat and drove to a location near the bank. She was zip-tied and taken to the bank to complete the robbery in which more than $110,000 was stolen. A tracking device was also placed on her car.

The criminals were found guilty based on evidence that included DNA, cell phone records, tracking devices and other evidence found in the homes of the defendants.

Jackson faces a mandatory minimum prison sentence of 41 years and Antonio Johnson is facing a mandatory minimum prison sentence of 34 years. Shalundra Johnson may be sentenced up to 20 years in prison, according to prosecutors.

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