FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, September 28, 2012
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Three Men Sentenced to Prison Terms For Their Roles
In Armed Robbery of Senior Citizens at Rare Coin Store
- Two Co-Defendants Previously Sentenced to 40 and 36 Months in Prison -
WASHINGTON – Three men, all from Washington, D.C., were sentenced today to prison terms for their roles in planning and executing a violent armed robbery of a rare coins store last year in Northwest Washington, U.S. Attorney Ronald C. Machen Jr. announced.
Melvin Simon, 54, and his brother, David Simon, 45, were sentenced to 17 years and 12 years of imprisonment, respectively. Stanley Williams, 50, who acted as the gunman during the armed robbery, was sentenced to a 12-year prison term for his role in the crime.
All three defendants pled guilty on June 18, 2012, in the Superior Court of the District of Columbia and were sentenced by the Honorable Michael Ryan.
Melvin Simon and Stanley Williams pled guilty to armed robbery, robbery of a senior citizen, assault with a dangerous weapon of a senior citizen, and unlawful possession of a firearm. David Simon pled guilty to conspiracy to commit robbery, unlawful possession of a firearm, and obstructing justice.
As part of their plea agreements, the men accepted responsibility for their roles in the Oct. 17, 2011 armed robbery of Capitol Coin & Stamp Company, in the 1000 block of Connecticut Avenue NW. Three senior citizens were assaulted during the robbery.
According to the agreed proffer of facts, between Sept. 25, 2011, and Oct. 17, 2011, the Simon brothers and another man planned the robbery after casing the building and neighborhood, entering the building multiple times, and studying the layout of the store. Sometime on or before Oct. 17, 2011, the third man backed out of the plans. At that point, the Simon brothers brought Williams into the conspiracy with the intent that they would rob the store.
On the morning of Oct. 17, 2011, the Simons and Williams drove to the building together. Williams and Melvin Simon entered the store while David Simon waited in their getaway car. Williams was armed with a gun and Melvin Simon was armed with a large knife.
During the robbery, Williams and Melvin Simon threatened the lives of the three people inside the establishment, including the 75-year-old store owner, his 63-year-old employee, and an 82-year-old customer. Williams pointed his gun at all three victims and stole the store owner’s wallet. He also took six gold Krugerrand coins, which were valued at approximately $10,500. Melvin Simon, meanwhile, gratuitously struck the 82-year-old customer in the head with the butt of his knife and stole the customer’s bag and wallet.
Williams and Melvin Simon then fled from the store, and left with David Simon in the getaway car. Melvin Simon previously had arranged to sell the gold coins to a buyer, and the three men then drove to meet with him. The buyer paid Melvin Simon $5,500 in cash, which he then split between his brother, Williams, and himself.
Police responded shortly after the robbery, and the investigation uncovered a lead to David Simon’s address. The police executed a search warrant on Oct. 22, 2011, which led to recovery of the gun. Videotape and GPS evidence helped lead to the arrests of Melvin Simon and Williams. After their arrests, David Simon made threatening statements over the phone in an effort to intimidate a witness whom he believed had been cooperating with the government.
In announcing the sentences, U.S. Attorney Machen praised the work of the Metropolitan Police Department (MPD). He also commended the efforts of those who worked on the case from the U.S. Attorney’s Office, including Paralegal Specialists Allison Daniels and Wanda Trice. Finally, he recognized the work of former Assistant U.S. Attorney Sean Lewis and Assistant U.S. Attorneys Jonathan Kravis and Lauren Dickie, who investigated and indicted the case, and Assistant U.S. Attorney Ephraim (Fry) Wernick, who assisted with trial preparation and sentencing.