An initial federal court appearance was made by a 23 year old Kansas City man today. According to a press release from U.S. Attorney Tammy Dickinson’s Office, Debvon Buckner was charged in a 3 count indictment including charges of alleged armed robbery, discharging a firearm during a crime of violence and conspiracy to commit robbery.

Buckner is accused of posting false ads on Craigslist then robbing the victims at gunpoint with other co-conspirators, who have not been named.

Officials were able to identify Buckner’s residence by another Craigslist posting and set up surveillance in the area of East Highway 40 and Sterling and took him into custody on July 17th when he boarded a metro bus. Debvon Buckner was identified by all the victims.

Press Release from Tammy Dickinson’s Office

KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Tammy Dickinson, United States Attorney for the Western District of Missouri, announced today that a Kansas City, Mo., man has been charged in federal court for his role in a conspiracy to commit armed robberies against victims who were contacted via Craigslist.

Debvon Buckner, 23, of Kansas City, was charged in a three-count criminal complaint filed in the U.S. District Court in Kansas City, Mo., on Aug. 20, 2014. Buckner had his initial court appearance today.

The federal criminal complaint alleges that Buckner participated in a conspiracy with others to commit robberies of several individuals by posting false advertisements on Craigslist between June 30 and July 17, 2014. In addition to the conspiracy, Buckner is charged with one count of armed robbery, which he allegedly committed by falsely posting a motor vehicle for sale on Craigslist in order to arrange a meeting with three victims on July 16, 2014. Buckner is also charged with one count of discharging a firearm during a crime of violence (the armed robbery on July 16, 2014).

According to an affidavit filed in support of the federal criminal complaint, Buckner was involved in five robberies in which Craigslist ads were used to lure victims, who were robbed at gunpoint by Buckner’s co-conspirators, who have not been charged and are not identified in the court documents.

July 16, 2014, Armed Robberies

On the evening of July 16, 2014, the affidavit says, three victims met Buckner at 5500 E. 84th Terrace, Kansas City, Mo., to look at a Hyundai Sonata that was listed for sale in a craigslist advertisement. Two of the victims took a test drive in the vehicle with Buckner, the affidavit says, and one of them made a purchase offer. Buckner allegedly agreed, but stated he needed to call his wife about the purchase and walked away. As he walked away, the affidavit says, two other men with handguns approached the two victims and asked for money. The victims tried to return to their car when the two men shot them. The men took one victim’s purse, which contained $500. They jumped into the Sonata with Buckner and fled the area. One of the victims was transported to a local hospital for life-threatening injuries from multiple gunshot wounds.

According to the affidavit, the telephone number used to contact the victims was the same number used to contact a separate victim in another armed robbery earlier the same day.

On the afternoon of July 16, 2014, this victim (identified as Victim#4 in the affidavit) told police that he had listed an XBOX One for sale on Craigslist. He arranged to meet a prospective buyer at Ridge Pointe Apartments in Kansas City, Mo. When he arrived, the affidavit said, Buckner approached him and asked to see the XBOX. The victim handed the XBOX to Buckner. Two other men then came up behind Buckner, the affidavit says. One of those men lifted his shirt, pulled out a black semi-automatic handgun and stated, “Give me the connections.” The other approaching male also had a gun. Victim #4 then gave the men the XBOX accessory cords, two remote controllers, and two video games. The three men then fled the area on foot.

The next day, Kansas City Police detectives saw another Craigslist advertisement for a car for sale that used the same telephone number. In the background of the photograph was a residence, which the detectives later identified as Buckner’s residence. They obtained location data for the cell phone and set up surveillance in the area of East US 40 Highway and Sterling. When Buckner boarded a metro bus, police officers took him into custody.

In addition to the two robberies on July 16, 2014, victims from three earlier robberies also identified Buckner.

June 30, 2014, Armed Robbery

One victim met Buckner on June 30, 2014, to purchase a cell phone that was advertised on Craigslist, the affidavit says. She decided not to purchase the phone and began to walk away, according to the affidavit, when two other men approached her, pointed guns at her and told her to give them money. She gave the men $100. They then demanded her car keys, cellphone and purse. She pressed the panic button on her car keys and the alarm sounded, the affidavit says, and all three of the men ran.

June 30, 2014, Armed Robbery #2

Another victim met Buckner later that night on the same date, according to the affidavit. She told police officers that she had been contacted about purchasing an XBOX One that she had posted for sale on Craigslist. When she arrived at Ridge Pointe Apartments, Buckner showed her that he had cash to make the purchase. As soon as she took out the XBOX, he allegedly took it and ran. Two other men, armed with handguns, then approached her and pointed the guns at her and a passenger in her vehicle. The men took their purses, along with video games and controllers for the XBOX. The passenger asked for her purse back, and one of the men said, “Get back in the car or I’ll shoot you” and racked the slide on his gun.

July 3, 2014, Armed Robbery

On July 3, 2014, another victim told police that he had been robbed while trying to buy an XBOX from a Craigslist advertisement. The victim met Buckner at Ridge Pointe Apartments, the affidavit says, after he had agreed to give him $160 and a Samsung Galaxy watch to buy the XBOX. Buckner refused to do the deal, the affidavit says, and the victim began walking back to his car when he was approached by another man pointing a gun at him. While this man pointed the gun at him, another man he had been talking to came over and frisked the victim. The two men took the watch and the cash, and then fled.

Dickinson cautioned that the charges contained in this complaint are simply accusations, and not evidence of guilt. Evidence supporting the charges must be presented to a federal trial jury, whose duty is to determine guilt or innocence.

This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Matthew P. Wolesky and Jess E. Michaelsen. It was investigated by the FBI and the Kansas City, Mo., Police Department.