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Friday, October 21, 2011

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Former Police Officer Sentenced to 15-Year Prison Term
For Robbery Attempt That Ended In Murder
- Officer Was On Duty In Marked Squad Car At Time of Attack -

     WASHINGTON - Reginald Levester Jones, 42, a former Metropolitan Police Department officer, was sentenced today to 15 years in prison on charges stemming from a robbery conspiracy that led to the murder of one of the alleged participants, announced U.S. Attorney Ronald C. Machen Jr. and Cathy L. Lanier, Chief of the Metropolitan Police Department.

     Jones, of Upper Marlboro, Md., pled guilty in August 2010, in the Superior Court of the District of Columbia, to charges of conspiracy to commit robbery and second-degree murder. Jones agreed to cooperate with the government and testify against his longtime friend and co-defendant, Raylen Wilkerson, 35. However, the government ultimately could not sponsor him due to issues with his veracity. He was sentenced by the Honorable Michael L. Rankin.

     According to the government’s evidence, on November 30, 2009, Jones and Wilkerson and four other men - Arvel Alston, Roshun Parker, Arvel Crawford, and Jarvis Clark – met at Wilkerson’s automotive detailing shop in Suitland, Md., and agreed to a plan to rob a man. They conducted an unsuccessful search for the targeted victim, utilizing multiple vehicles, including Jones’s marked police cruiser. The next day, December 1, 2009, they met again and executed the robbery attempt at approximately 9 p.m. in the 4300 block of 4th Street SE.

     The victim fought back and was shot by Arvel Crawford, but he ultimately survived. During the robbery attempt, Arvel Crawford also shot and killed his own father and fellow conspirator, Arvel Alston, 40. Jones, who was on duty at the time, used his marked cruiser to clear the area in order to make the robbery easier and he parked the cruiser near the buildings to act as a look-out, with Wilkerson sitting in the front passenger seat. When the robbery went awry, Jones and Wilkerson fled the scene in the squad car, ignoring citizen pleas for help.

     “Instead of locking up robbers and murderers, Reginald Jones decided to become one of them,” said U.S. Attorney Machen. “His disgraceful conduct is an affront to the dedicated professionals at the Metropolitan Police Department who sacrifice to keep us safe every day. With today’s sentence, Reginald Jones will replace the police uniform he dishonored with a prison jumpsuit.”

     “Today’s sentencing reinforces to the community that people who commit crimes in this city will be treated equally,” said Chief Lanier. “No matter who you are, if you commit a crime in Washington, DC, you will be arrested, prosecuted and held accountable.”

     Wilkerson, of Landover, Md., was the only conspiracy member to go to trial. He was found guilty in July 2011 of conspiracy, obstruction of justice and tampering with evidence. Wilkerson was sentenced in September 2011 to 21 years in prison by the Honorable William M. Jackson. During the sentencing of Wilkerson, Judge Jackson noted his role as one of the ringleaders who recruited younger, easily influenced men to commit crimes. The judge agreed to the government’s recommendation for an upward departure from voluntary sentencing guidelines.

     Jones and the other three defendants pled guilty to charges in the case. Arvel Crawford, now 20, of Washington, D.C., did not cooperate with the government and was sentenced to 18 years in prison for killing his father. Roshun Parker, 29, and Jarvis Clark, 21, both of Temple Hills, Md., cooperated with the government and testified against Wilkerson. Parker was sentenced to three years in prison by Judge Rankin. Clark was sentenced to time served and given a lengthy period of probation by Judge Jackson.

     In announcing today’s sentence, U.S. Attorney Machen and Chief Lanier praised the outstanding efforts of the many MPD detectives and members who worked on the case. They also commended those at the U.S. Attorney’s Office who assisted in the case, including Intelligence Analyst Lawrence Grasso, Information Technology Specialists Claudia Gutierrez and Ron Royal, Security Specialists Tanya Via and Katina Adams, and Paralegals Fern Rhedrick and Sharon Newman. Finally, they praised the work of Assistant U.S. Attorney Glenn Kirschner, who initially investigated the case, and the teamwork of Assistant U.S. Attorneys Laura R. Bach and John G. Giovannelli who completed the investigation, indicted, and tried the case.



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