Kansas City man pleads guilty to setting up armed Craigslist robberies

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Debvon Buckner

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — A Kansas City, Mo., man pleaded guilty in federal court Tuesday to his role in a conspiracy to commit a series of armed robberies against victims who were lured through an advertisement posted on Craigslist.

Debvon Buckner, 24, pleaded guilty to one count of participating in the robbery conspiracy, five counts of aiding and abetting the robberies and one count of aiding and abetting the discharge of a firearm during a crime of violence.

FOX 4’s Robert Townsend spoke to a family member of three of the victims.  A 53-year-old man and his 55-year-old wife were shot and robbed while trying to buy a car they saw on Craigslist. The couple from Liberty and their 16-year-old son met a man at an apartment on East 84th Terrace in south Kansas City on Wednesday, July 16, 2014, to see the 2007 Sonata to possibly buy it for their son. Investigators say while showing the vehicle to the couple, the man went inside the apartment and made a phone call. Within moments, police say two men came out to rob the couple. One of the robbers shot the husband four times. His wife was hit in her arm and their son wasn’t hurt.

The victim’s mother spoke exclusively and anonymously to FOX 4’s Robert Townsend after the 2014 robbery and shooting.

“The doctors can’t believe he’s alive,” she said. “Just a smidgen could’ve been his heart, you know. It got his liver. It got his lung. So we can’t thank God enough.”

Buckner admitted that he participated in a conspiracy to rob several individuals at gunpoint. Buckner said he knew that co-conspirators robbed a Hispanic family on June 25, 2014, when the victims responded to a false advertisement for a Samsung television on Craigslist. After that robbery, Buckner agreed to be the primary point of contact with the victims, as conspirators continued using Craigslist to lure victims to be robbed. Buckner made initial contact with the victims, while his co-conspirators robbed them at gunpoint. The robberies occurred between May 1 and Sept. 19, 2014.

Buckner admitted that he participated in five additional armed robberies in which conspirators posted false advertisements to buy or sell items on Craigslist in order to entice their victims to meet so that conspirators could steal money and electronics. For more details on those robberies, one that ended in injury to the victims after the suspects opened fire, click here for the descriptive news release from Tammy Dickinson, United States Attorney for the Western District of Missouri.

Under federal statutes, Buckner is subject to 10 years to life without parole. His sentence will be determined by the court based on the advisory sentencing guidelines and other statutory factors. A sentencing hearing will be scheduled after the completion of a pre-sentence investigation by the United States Probation Office.

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