A 38-year-old man who robbed a cell phone store at gunpoint has been sentenced to more than 25 years in federal prison for robbery, carjacking and multiple crimes committed with a firearm, announced U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Texas Chad E. Meacham.
In June, a federal jury found Michael Tremaine Schexnayder guilty of one count of interference with commerce by robbery, one count of carjacking, one count of brandishing a firearm during a felony of violence and one count of possession of a firearm by a convicted felon. He was sentenced on January 25 to 308 months in federal prison by U.S. District Judge Samuel A. Lindsay, who also ordered him to pay $15,658.74 in restitution.
“This defendant threatened innocent citizens with a gun. They will never forget the terror they endured that day,” U.S. Attorney Chad Meacham said. “We hope they find some comfort in knowing that Mr. Schexnayder will spend the next quarter century behind bars.”
“Thefts, carjackings and gun crimes could make for entertaining TV shows, but they won’t be tolerated on the streets of North Texas. The storybook that ends here is that M “Schexnayder will have the next thirty years in federal prison to write his next screenplay. The ATF is grateful to our law enforcement partners who work tirelessly to keep our citizens safe,” said Jeffrey C. Boshek II, special agent in charge of the ATF field division in Dallas.
According to evidence presented during his trial, at around 10:45 a.m. on July 16, 2019, Mr. Schexnayder entered a T-Mobile store in Grand Prairie, armed with a small black pistol. After circling for a few moments, he suddenly approached two employees and a customer, pointing his gun at them. He demanded that they hand over his personal belongings – mobile phones, watches, cash and car keys – then ordered staff members to open the safe at the back of the store.
Terrified, one of the employees, an assistant store manager, explained that the safe was timed and wouldn’t open for several minutes after entering the code. The employee testified that Mr. Schexnayder, who apparently did not believe her, got agitated and instead forced her to empty the cash register into a garbage bag. He then demanded that the same employee hand over her car keys and describe her vehicle, a boxy white Toyota Scion.
With their property in tow, he fled the store.
Employees and customers then barricaded themselves in the back of the store and the assistant manager dialed 911. Moments after police arrived, the assistant manager noticed that his vehicle was missing, as was his iPhone.
With the permission of the store’s assistant manager, officers quickly began tracking his phone, located the vehicle, and pursued him. An officer observed the driver running through a wooded area as the Toyota came to a stop. Officers later found Mr. Schexnayder lying in the woods, wearing the same clothes witnesses to the robbery had described. A short distance away they found a small black pistol hidden under a pile of wood.
The Dallas Field Division of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms & Explosives conducted the investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Gary Tromblay and Lindsey Beran prosecuted the case.