FBI-Led Dallas Task Force Helps Take Violent Criminals Off the Street

The two-year old Dallas task force combines expertise from the FBI and the local Dallas, Garland, and Carrollton PDs and targets exceptionally violent criminals in the area.

One recent success of the FBI-led Dallas task force was the conviction of two violent criminals who had robbed numerous jewelry stores at gunpoint in the Dallas/Fort Worth area. The robbers targeted female clerks in shopping malls without good security.

Mark D. Whitfield would enter the store and pretend to be a customer. Once the clerk had opened the case, Michael Demon Jackson would charge in, push the clerk to the ground, put a gun to her head, and then threaten to kill her. This was highly traumatic for the victims.

The severity of these crimes, which took place between 2013 and 2014, led them to meet the criteria of the Dallas task force. Stellar detective work led investigators to identify the pair of armed robbers.

Initially, the only thing to go on was surveillance footage. However, after an April 2014 robbery in Lewisville, a person photographed two men that were running out of the mall and took a picture of the car—a red Mitsubishi Galant. Despite the lack of a visible license plate, this picture proved pivotal. It showed that the passenger-side mirror was missing.

A Dallas PD detective—Noe Camacho—spent the next five days examining every traffic ticket from the area that involved Mitsubishi Galants and cross-referencing them to drivers with criminal records. Camacho struck gold when he discovered that Whitfield had recently been stopped by an officer who noted that he and another man had a large number of new watches in the car.

In addition, Whitfield had a long record of jewelry theft. Surveillance by task force members showed that his car was missing a passenger-side mirror. That information was enough to get a search warrant, and investigators found stolen jewelry in his residence that still had price tags.

One of the strengths of the task force is being able to bring federal charges for violent crimes that take place in the Dallas area. Both robbers are doing time in a federal prison with no chance of parole. After pleading guilty, Jackson received a 594-month sentence partly because he already had a murder conviction on his record. Whitfield was sentenced to 309 months.

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