FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT
AUSA VICKIE E. LEDUC or
MARCIA MURPHY at 410-209-4885
OCTOBER 16, 2007
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
BALTIMORE CARJACKER PLEADS GUILTY TO ARMED BANK ROBBERY
Baltimore, Maryland - Dwayne Saunders, age 24, of Baltimore, pleaded guilty today to bank robbery and using a firearm in connection with the bank robbery, announced United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Rod J. Rosenstein. Saunders also admitted to committing a carjacking three weeks prior to the bank robbery, in order to acquire the getaway car.
According to the plea agreement, Saunders pointed a handgun at “JM” and her friend as they approached “J.M.’s” car in the 400 block of Lexington Street in Baltimore on June 21, 2007. After Saunders forced “JM” to start her car, Saunders got in the car and drove off. Saunders kept the car in a secure place, for use in the bank robbery. On July 12, Saunders and an associate drove the car to the Wachovia Bank at 632 Eastern Boulevard in Essex, Maryland. They entered the bank wearing masks and carrying handguns. A teller reached under a counter and pressed the alarm button. Saunders put his gun to the teller’s head and ordered her away from the counter. Saunders emptied $24,438.15 and dye packs from the tellers’ drawers, and the two drove away as the dye packs exploded.
A citizen outside called in the tag number of the car to the police. A police officer spotted the car and after a brief chase, arrested Saunders who was covered with red dye. The vehicle was filled with red dye and the stolen dye stained money. A loaded .380 caliber semi-automatic handgun and two pellet guns, which looked like real handguns, were found in the back seat.
Saunders faces a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison for bank robbery and life in prison for using a firearm during the bank robbery. U.S. District Judge Richard D. Bennett has scheduled sentencing for January 4, 2008 at 3:00 p.m.
United States Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein praised the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Baltimore County Police Department for their investigative work. Mr. Rosenstein thanked Assistant U.S. Attorney Paul E. Budlow, who is prosecuting the case.