Columbia, SC (WJBF) – United States Attorney Bill Nettles tells us that 35-year-old Deon Dovell Roberts, of Fairfax, South Carolina was sentenced to 21 months imprisonment in federal court. On November 2, 2015, Roberts plead guilty to conspiracy to commit wire fraud/cause a train wreck/interfere with a train operator and to interfering with the operation of a train, all in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Sections 371 and 1992(a)(6). United States District Court Judge J. Michelle Childs sentenced Roberts to 21 months imprisonment to be followed by 3 years of federal supervised release on each charge, to run concurrently, and ordered Roberts to make restitution to Amtrak in the amount of $46,690.27. During the sentencing hearing, Judge Childs stated that this was “a serious crime” and that Robert’s request for a probationary sentence was not appropriate due to the “significant nature of this crime and potentially what could have happened.”
Evidence presented during the earlier guilty plea hearing showed that during the early morning hours of September 6, 2013, Roberts and James Duvall Love parked a car at Bakers Mill Crossing in Allendale, South Carolina, in the path of an oncoming Amtrak passenger train, got out of the car prior to the collision, and then returned to the car after the collision, feigning injury, all for the purpose of submitting bogus claims for personal injuries and other losses. Robert’s co-defendant James Duvall Love age 34, of Fairfax, South Carolina also plead guilty to the charge of conspiracy to commit wire fraud/cause a train wreck/interfere with a train operator and to a separate felon in possession of a firearm charge and was sentenced to 46 months imprisonment in January 2016.
The case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Amtrak Office of Inspector General, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, the Fairfax Police Department, and the Allendale County Sheriff’s Department. Assistant United States Attorneys Eric Klumb and Stacey D. Haynes of the Columbia office handled the prosecution of the case.