Sometimes the criminals just make the wrong call.

A $4 robbery in Commerce has resulted in a Dallas man being sentenced to 15 years in prison. It is the details of the crime itself which are, at the very least, somewhat unusual. Those details included the defendant — a former DJ and rapper — twice being mistaken for the wrong gender and being held in a juvenile facility for a time until his true identity was sorted out.

The individual’s biggest mistake was in calling local law enforcement to report he and his co-defendant had run out of gas and they were asking for help ... while they were in a stolen car.

John Dates Jr., 23, entered a plea of guilty Friday to a charge of robbery and received the sentence during a hearing in the 354th District Court.

Dates and Marquise Lamon Greer, also of Dallas, were originally indicted on one count each of aggravated robbery with a deadly weapon. The pair were alleged to have used a BB pistol to threaten and rob a female victim of $4 in cash in Commerce on May 4, 2003.

According to a criminal complaint filed as part of court records, the Hunt County Sheriff’s Office later received a call of a motorist needing assistance. The dispatcher told a deputy a female had indicated the car she was driving had run out of gas.

The deputy arrived on the scene near the intersection of Highway 34 and Hunt County Road 1007, south of Wolfe City, to find a maroon Cadillac and two people inside the car.

A check on the registration revealed the vehicle had been reported stolen earlier that evening during an armed robbery in Dallas.

The deputy took Greer into custody and prepared to transport him to the Hunt County Jail. The deputy, also believing Dates to be a juvenile female due to his high-pitched voice, according to the complaint, transported Dates to be housed at the Hunt County Juvenile Detention Center.

It was only later that officials at the Juvenile Detention Center learned Dates was indeed an adult and a male and transferred the defendant to the Hunt County Jail. The indictment returned against Dates indicated that at the time of his arrest, he was a DJ/rapper with a Dallas-based recording studio.

Dates pleaded guilty to a lesser included charge of second-degree felony robbery, as opposed to the original first-degree aggravated robbery charge. Dates could have faced a maximum sentence for a conviction of robbery of from two to 10 years in prison and an optional fine of up to $10,000. Dates could have faced a maximum sentence of from five to 99 years to life in prison for the aggravated robbery charge.

Marquise Lamon Greer entered the plea Tuesday in the 354th District Court to one count of aggravated robbery with a deadly weapon.

Greer entered a guilty plea to the charge of aggravated robbery in November 2004 and was placed on 10 years of deferred adjudication probation, was fined $500 and was sentenced to 180 days in the Hunt County Jail as a condition of his probation.

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