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Friday, May 11, 2012

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Two District Men Plead Guilty to Felony Charges
In Armed Pizza-Delivery Heist in Northeast Washington
Robbers Ambushed Deliveryman at Gunpoint;
One Defendant Later Threatened Witness

     WASHINGTON - Melvin Woodard, 19, and Rojay Ball, 18, have pled guilty to charges in connection with an armed robbery of a pizza delivery driver that took place last year in Northeast Washington, U.S. Attorney Ronald C. Machen Jr. announced today.

      Woodard and Ball pled guilty on May 9, 2012, in the Superior Court of the District of Columbia, to charges of armed robbery and carrying a pistol without a license, both felonies. In addition, Ball pled guilty to a felony charge of threatening to injure a person.

      The two men will be sentenced by the Honorable Heidi M. Pasichow on July 20, 2012. Woodard faces up to 35 years in prison, and Ball faces up to 55 years in prison. At sentencing, Woodard and Ball will be required to register as gun offenders.

      According to the government’s evidence, on December 27, 2011, Woodard, Ball, and a third man called a Papa John’s restaurant. They ordered three pizzas, chicken wings, and cinnamon-bread dessert to be delivered to the area of Varnum and Sixth Place NE. About 10 p.m., a pizza-delivery driver arrived at the location. Woodard, Ball, and the third robber – all of whom were armed with loaded pistols and wearing black ski masks and gloves – ambushed the delivery driver, and demanded his money.

      While their guns were pointed at the driver, the robbers stole more than $200 in cash, the food they had ordered, and the driver’s cell phone. The three robbers fled approximately one block north and entered a house in the 4400 block of 6th Place NE. They entered the house, took a cell phone picture of the food they had stolen, and ate the stolen food.

      On the morning of December 29, 2011, Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) officers executed a search warrant at the 6th Place location. Police recovered the guns that were used during the robbery, as well as ski masks and gloves worn during the crime. Police also recovered a cell phone that contained several photographs, including the picture of the stolen food.

      While the investigation of the armed robbery was ongoing, Ball encountered a person who witnessed the armed robbery and threatened to hurt or kill that individual.

      In announcing the plea, U.S. Attorney Machen commended the excellent work of the MPD detectives, officers and crime scene technicians who handled the case. U.S. Attorney Machen also recognized the invaluable assistance of Durand Odom, of the U.S. Attorney’s Office Criminal Investigation Unit, and thanked Paralegal Assistants Debra Smith and Wanda Trice.

      Finally, U.S. Attorney Machen expressed appreciation to Assistant U.S. Attorney Seth Adam Meinero, of the Fourth District Prosecution Unit of the Felony Major Crimes Section, who prosecuted this case.





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