Conspirator Sentenced to over 19 Years in Prison for the Armed Robbery of a Bank and Attempted Armed Robbery of a Pharmacy

Case Demonstrates Federal Commitment to Stop Importation of Illegal Drugs

February 22, 2012

Baltimore, Maryland - U.S. District Judge Benson E. Legg sentenced Freddie Douglas Widener, age 55, of Dundalk, Maryland, today to 233 months in prison followed by five years of supervised release for conspiring to commit armed robberies of a bank and pharmacies and for use of a firearm during a crime of violence.

The sentence was announced by United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Rod J. Rosenstein; Special Agent in Charge Richard A. McFeely of the Federal Bureau of Investigation; Baltimore City State’s Attorney Gregg L. Bernstein; and Baltimore Police Commissioner Frederick H. Bealefeld III.

According to plea agreements of Freddie Widener and his co-conspirators, between July and November of 2010, Freddie Douglas Widener, Ernest Widener, Richard Adams, Robert Gene Harris and Lacy Varner conspired to rob a bank and pharmacies to obtain money and drugs. Ernest Widener acquired two handguns in Baltimore that were used by other members of the conspiracy during the robberies. On July 30, 2010, Freddie Widener and Harris robbed the M & T Bank on Philadelphia Avenue in Chambersburg, Pennsylvania, armed with the handguns supplied by Ernest Widener. Harris was arrested at the scene, but Widener fled in Harris’ car. On September 15, 2010, Freddie Widener and Adams attempted to rob the Loch Raven Pharmacy located on East Northern Parkway in Baltimore City. Both Freddie Widener and Adams were armed and Freddie Widener discharged his gun during the attempted robbery. Varner was the getaway driver for the robbery. Adams was apprehended at the scene, but Widener escaped with Varner in the getaway car.

On September 18, 2010, Ernest Widener and Blair set the getaway car that had been used in the bank robbery and attempted robbery of the pharmacy on fire, in an effort to destroy the vehicle.

All of the co-defendants, Ernest Widener, age 54, of Baltimore; Richard Adams, age 53, of Baltimore; Terry Blair, age 52, of Baltimore; Robert Gene Harris, age 29, of Chambersburg, Pennsylvania; and Lucy Varner, age 29, of Dundalk, previously pleaded guilty to their roles in the robberies. Blair and Ernest Widener were sentenced to five years in prison and Adams was sentenced to 174 months in prison.

Harris and Varner face a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison for the robbery conspiracy. Harris also faces a mandatory seven years, consecutive to any other sentence, and up to life in prison, for use of a firearm during a crime of violence. U.S. District Judge Benson E. Legg has scheduled sentencing for Varner and Harris on May 11, 2012 at 10:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m., respectively.

United States Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein commended the FBI, Baltimore Police Department and Baltimore City State’s Attorney’s Office for their work in this investigation and thanked Assistant United States Attorney James G. Warwick, who prosecuted the case.

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