Armed Bank Robber Sentenced to over 27 Years in Prison

Get-Away Driver Sentenced to Over 20 Years

October 20, 2011

Baltimore, Maryland - U.S. District Judge Roger W. Titus sentenced Arnell Johnson, age 29, of Washington, D.C., today to 334 months in prison followed by five years of supervised release for bank robbery and brandishing a firearm during a crime of violence; and sentenced Vaughn Barksdale, age 47, of Rockville, Maryland, today to 250 months in prison followed by five years of supervised release for bank robbery. Judge Titus enhanced the defendants’ sentences upon determining that they are each career offenders based on prior drug and/or violent crime convictions. Judge Titus also ordered Johnson and Barksdale to forfeit $13,560, the amount stolen from the bank, and the firearms used in the robbery.

The sentences were 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; Chief J. Thomas Manger of the Montgomery County Police Department; and Chief Mark Magaw of the Prince George’s County Police Department.

According to their plea agreements, on June 29, 2010, Arnell Johnson and co-defendant Lamar Pannell robbed the M&T Bank on Main Street in Damascus, Maryland. Johnson pointed an M9 rifle and Pannell brandished a .357 Magnum revolver. In an effort to disguise their identities, Pannell wore a baseball cap and sunglasses, and Johnson wore a wig with shoulder-length braids, dark glasses and a floppy hat. After entering the bank, Pannell placed the revolver on a counter with the end of the barrel pointed at a bank teller. Pannell and Johnson demanded money and ordered the tellers and customers to the back of the bank. After stealing $13,560 from the bank, Pannell and Johnson fled the scene in a get-away vehicle driven by Barksdale.

Later that day, the vehicle was stopped by a Prince George’s County Police officer for a traffic violation, and Pannell and Johnson attempted to run away. Barksdale was apprehended on the scene and Pannell was apprehended after a short pursuit. Johnson was arrested several months later. Among the items recovered inside the vehicle were the revolver and rifle used in the robbery, approximately $13,560 that was taken from the bank and the disguises worn by Pannell and Johnson.

Lamar Pannell, age 38, of Washington, D.C. pleaded guilty to his participation in the bank robbery and is scheduled to be sentence on February 13, 2012.

United States Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein commended the FBI, Montgomery County Police Department and Prince George’s County Police Department for their work in the investigation. Mr. Rosenstein expressed special appreciation to the Prince George’s County Police Laboratory staff for their extraordinary work in this case. Mr. Rosenstein thanked Assistant United States Attorneys Arun G. Rao and Robert K. Hur, who prosecuted the case.

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