ST. LOUIS – U.S. District Judge Sarah E. Pitlyk on Tuesday sentenced a man from St. Louis County who robbed two stores while wearing a GPS ankle bracelet placed on him after other robbery charges to 14 years in prison.
On Dec. 5, 2020, Darrion Gardner and a co-defendant robbed a T-Mobile store on Lackland Road in Overland while armed. They forced an employee to the ground, stole money from the cash registers and one employee and then forced an employee at gunpoint to take them to a storage area, where they stole phones, Gardner admitted in a plea agreement.
Two days later, the pair robbed the Universal Accessories store on St. Charles Rock Road in Breckenridge Hills. The men took phones from the store and an employee at gunpoint.
Gardner was arrested on Dec. 10, 2020.
After his arrest, Gardner tried to get his father to destroy evidence of the robberies located in his bedroom.
A sentencing memo called the series of events “violent and aggressive crimes which were brazenly repeated.”
Before the cell phone store robberies, Gardner had been released on bond after being arrested and accused of the robbery or attempted robbery of people walking on or near the grounds of Concordia Seminary and Washington University, court records show. Gardner still faces pending charges related to those robberies in St. Louis County Circuit Court.
Gardner, now 22, pleaded guilty in May in U.S. District Court to two felony counts of robbery and two counts of possession of a firearm in furtherance of a crime of violence. Each gun charge carries a mandatory minimum five-year term consecutive to other charges.
Federal charges are pending against Gardner’s alleged co-defendant, Malik Dorsey, who was shot by a clerk while allegedly robbing a cell phone store in Maplewood on Dec. 9, 2020.
The FBI and police departments in Overland Hills, Breckenridge and Maplewood investigated this case.