A man who forced store workers at gunpoint into a backroom so the manager could open the safe has been sentenced to 30 years in prison.
Juarez Jackson, 29, was sentenced Tuesday for an armed robbery at Express Check Advance in Long Beach on Sept. 3, 2015. He pleaded guilty earlier this week in Harrison County Circuit Court.
Jackson, who has gold teeth, tried to disguise himself by wearing brown overalls and a hat with fake dreadlocks, Assistant District Attorney Matthew Burrell said. The store’s surveillance cameras recorded the holdup.
Judge Lisa Dodson imposed the prison term and suspended 15 years, leaving 15 years to serve in prison, followed by five years of post-release supervision.
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Jackson used a semi-automatic handgun when he went in the store and demanded three employees give him money, Burrell said.
He forced the workers into a back room, where the manager opened a safe and gave him money.
During the robbery, the store manager’s fiancé came in and discovered a crime in progress, Burrell said.
Jackson went out the back door and got in a car driven by someone else.
The manager’s fiancé followed the car and called 911, providing information on the getaway car’s location.
A police pursuit followed, Burrell said, and Long Beach police stopped the car at Harper-McCaughan Elementary School on Pineville Road.
Jackson and the driver were taken into custody.
“Officers searched the vehicle and located the defendant’s disguise, along with the bag of money taken from Express Check Advance, and the semi-automatic handgun used in the robbery,” Burrell said.
Jackson was on probation for a cocaine possession conviction from a 2009 arrest, the Harrison County jail docket shows. His supervision would have been completed this past May, the state prison website shows. His probation has been revoked.
The alleged driver of the getaway car, Darius Johnson, has been indicted on an armed robbery charge and also was charged with failure to stop a vehicle, Burrell said. Johnson’s case is pending.