A Danville man was convicted Thursday following a three-day jury trial of committing seven robberies and other charges related to numerous armed robberies of businesses in Danville, Bedford and Rocky Mount and in Prospect Hill, North Carolina.

United States Attorney Thomas T. Cullen made the announcement Friday as part of the Western District of Virginia’s ongoing Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN) initiative to reduce violent crime.

A jury sitting in U.S. District Court in Lynchburg convicted Justin Lee Stallings, 33, on Thursday of six counts of Hobbs Act robbery, one count of conspiracy to commit Hobbs Act Robbery, six counts of using a firearm in commission of a Hobbs Act robbery and one count of being a convicted felon illegally in possession of a firearm. 

“We are committed to working with our federal, state and local partners to prosecute those who commit acts of violence in our communities,” U.S. Attorney Cullen said.  “Individuals, like Mr. Stallings, who unlawfully possess firearms and who use firearms to commit other violent acts, face very lengthy terms in federal prison.  I am grateful for the leadership of the FBI in our PSN and anti-violence initiatives in the Southside and greater-Roanoke regions, as well as for the hard work of our local law-enforcement partners.”    

“Residents of Danville, the Commonwealth of Virginia, and the State of North Carolina, are safer today as a result of Mr. Stallings’ federal trial conviction in the Western District of Virginia.  This successful investigation represents a collaborative effort by a team of dedicated federal and local law enforcement professionals working in concert under the PSN initiative,” said Thomas M. Chadwick, acting special agent in charge of the FBI’s Richmond Division. “The FBI is fully committed to the U.S. Attorney’s Office PSN mission and will continue to work closely with our state, local, and federal partners to use legal process to remove violent offenders such as Mr. Stallings from our communities.” 

Evidence presented at trial proved that Stallings committed seven robberies between December of 2016 and February of 2017. Specifically, Stallings used a firearm to commit robberies at each of the following businesses while engaged in interstate commerce:  

• Dollar General located on South Main Street in Danville on Dec. 8, 2016;

• Dollar General located on Westover Drive in Danville on Jan. 8, 2017;

• KFC located on Memorial Drive in Danville on Jan. 11;

• Charles’s Stop N Shop located on Westover Drive in Danville on Jan. 20, 2017;

• Dollar General located in Caswell County, North Carolina, on Jan. 25, 2017;

• Dollar General located on Blue Ridge Avenue in Bedford on Feb. 5, 2017; and

• Dollar General located on Pell Avenue in Rocky Mount on Feb. 6. 

During each robbery, Stallings brandished a firearm, pointing it at the employees of the various businesses and demanding cash and/or other goods from the cash register or store safe.  

The investigation of the case was conducted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Danville Police Department, the Pittsylvania County Sheriff’s Office, the Caswell County (N.C.) Sheriff’s Office, the Bedford Police Department, the Rocky Mount Police Department and the Office of the Commonwealth’s Attorney for Bedford County. 

Assistant United States Attorneys Christopher Kavanaugh and Rachel Swartz prosecuted the case for the United States.

This case was brought as part of PSN the centerpiece of the Department of Justice’s violent crime reduction efforts.  PSN is an evidence-based program proven to be effective at reducing violent crime.

Through PSN, a broad spectrum of stakeholders work together to identify the most pressing violent crime problems in the community 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 re-entry programs for lasting reductions in crime.