(STL.News) – A Nashville man convicted last fall of the robberies and shooting at the Rite-Aid Pharmacy on West End Avenue was sentenced Friday in U.S. District Court to 355 months in federal prison, announced U.S. Attorney Don Cochran for the Middle District of Tennessee.
Dionte Breedlove, 26, was found guilty by a federal jury in October 2019, after a week-long trial, of robberies affecting interstate commerce and using a firearm during and in relation to crimes of violence. Breedlove was tried for participating in two separate robberies of the pharmacy on September 14, 2017, and again on October 9, 2017, during which he shot an unarmed security guard.
Breedlove, along with Carlos Valcarcel-Arocho, 22, also of Nashville, were both charged in August 2018, after an investigation into the robberies determined that Valcarcel-Arocho, an employee of Rite-Aid, was present during each robbery and participated by texting Breedlove when the time was right for him to enter the store. Valcarcel-Arocho posed as a victim during each robbery and helped stuff cash into a bag after opening the safe and cash registers. The investigation also determined that Breedlove and Valcarcel-Arocho had been acquainted for several years. A search warrant later executed at Valcarcel-Arocho’s apartment uncovered several items connected to the robbery. Valcarcel-Arocho pleaded guilty to charges relating to the October 2017 robbery and is awaiting sentencing.
During the October 2017 robbery, Breedlove pointed a gun at two employees, including Valcarcel-Arocho, and ordered them to put cash into a bag. The unarmed security guard stood nearby with his arms behind his head. Breedlove then shot him in the chest at close range and held the gun to the back of the head of the other employee while threatening him. The security guard underwent emergency surgery and was hospitalized for several weeks, followed by months of rehabilitation. His injuries were life altering and a bullet remains lodged in his spine.
At the time Breedlove committed these crimes, he was a convicted felon who had completed a six-year sentence for robbery less than two years earlier. In that case, Breedlove, who was 18 years old at the time, also shot the person he robbed.