4 gang members plead to armed robbery of Cobb gas station

Four Atlanta gang members pleaded guilty to the armed robbery of a Marietta gas station, officials announced Monday.

After accepting their Aug. 15 pleas to armed robbery and possessing a firearm during a felony, Cobb Superior Court Chief Judge Stephen Schuster sentenced Jose Alejandro Quinones, Devante Watson and Christopher Renard Watson — no relation — to 20 years with 15 of those years in prison. The judge sentenced Jereme Quinton White to 20 years with 12 in prison.

"For all of the defendants, the custody time is based on the armed robbery charge and thus is not paroleable," according to the Cobb County district attorney's office.

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Early on the afternoon of Oct. 23, 2014, the four men walked into the Chevron at 334 Cobb Parkway near South Marietta Parkway.

Quinones, now 38 years old, pulled out a shotgun from under his coat and pointed it at the cashier. The other three men ran in together holding handguns and stole money from the cash register, according to the district attorney's office. Then Quinones stole a beer from the back wall cooler before all four fled in a gold Chevy Avalanche.

As for how investigators figured out who the men were: Police "quickly identified" White, now 26, by his fingerprints on the cash register and Quinones was also identified by his fingerprints on a door. A gang investigator recognized Devante Watson, now 24, and the investigation confirmed the men were with the Thrash Set of the 9 Trey Bloods gang. An alert on the Chevy led to Christopher Watson, now 33, being identified as the owner of the vehicle.

And they weren't strangers around the store.

Investigators found that Christopher Watson and Quinones had cashed bad checks at the store months before the armed robbery and Christopher Watson had gotten gas there earlier that day.

Quinones admitted he has bought drugs from Christopher Watson and owed him money when they robbed the store. Quinones was the only defendant who didn't plead guilty to violating Georgia's Street Gang Terrorism and Prevention Act.

"These defendants targeted this convenience store knowing there would be cash on hand, cased it beforehand, then callously stormed in with little [regard] for the terrified clerk behind the counter," said prosecutor Theresa Schiefer.