FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, September 25, 2012
For Information Contact:
District Man Sentenced to 24-Year Prison Term
For Robberies of Patrons of Restaurants, Bars and Cafes
- Stole Items From Women in Gallery Place/Chinatown Area -
WASHINGTON - Winston Jackson, 50, of Washington, D.C., was sentenced today to 24 years in prison on charges stemming from a series of robberies of patrons of restaurants, bars and cafes in the Gallery Place/Chinatown area, U.S. Attorney Ronald C. Machen Jr. announced.
Jackson, also known as Winston Brown, was found guilty by a jury on May 16, 2012, following a trial in the Superior Court of the District of Columbia, of 23 charges of robbery, theft and credit card fraud. He was sentenced by the Honorable Florence Pan. Upon completion of his prison term, Jackson will be placed on three years of supervised release.
All told, the jury convicted him of charges in a total of seven incidents between Sept. 15, 2011 and Jan. 24, 2012. According to the government’s evidence, Jackson preyed on young women who were patrons of Gallery Place/Chinatown restaurants, bars, and cafes. Jackson typically entered an establishment, chose his target, and then maneuvered to be seated near her.
For example, Jackson would claim that he was meeting family or friends, and that he needed a larger table, putting him in position so that he would be seated near his target. He would then patiently wait behind the patron, and then, using a jacket or a bag as a foil to conceal his actions, robbed the victim of her wallet or purse.
Jackson then proceeded to the Gallery Place Metro station, where he purchased multiple $20 paper fare cards, or to the movie theater at Gallery Place, where he purchased batches of 10 movie tickets, presumably for resale. He made purchases at these two locations after each robbery, on multiple credit cards, and caused thousands of dollars of financial damage.
Due to the nature of his robberies, the victims did not instantly realize that they were being robbed, and so they did not report the robberies immediately, giving Jackson time to vacate the area and discard of their property. Also, because Jackson approached his victims from behind, and because they were distracted in food, drink, or conversation, the victims were unable to identify him or describe him with particularity.
However, a manager from one restaurant was able to identify Jackson from surveillance footage maintained by the establishment. Also, a manager of another restaurant identified him from a photo array as acting suspiciously in his bar on the day of a December 2011 robbery that occurred inside the place. In addition, a comparison of the credit card charges made on all of the victims’ credit cards established a repeated pattern of charge at Gallery Place Metro and Regal Cinema that established the defendant’s identity.
Jackson was arrested in January 2012.
In announcing the sentence, U.S. Attorney Machen commended those who investigated the case for the Metropolitan Police Department. He also expressed his appreciation to Paralegals Donville Drummond and Bridget Harris; Litigation Technology Specialists Joe Calvarese, Paul Howell, Leif Hickling, and Thomas “Ron” Royal; Intelligence Analyst Shannon Alexis, and Assistant U.S. Attorney Mona Sahaf, who investigated and prosecuted the case.