Career Offender Exiled to 30 Years in Federal Prison on Carjacking and Firearm Charges
Driver of Getaway Car Sentenced to Almost 7 Years
Baltimore, Maryland - U.S. District Judge J. Frederick Motz sentenced Donald Griffin, age 44, of Baltimore, today to 30 years in prison followed by three years of supervised release for carjacking, using and brandishing a firearm during a crime of violence, and possession of a firearm by a previously convicted felon, announced United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Rod J. Rosenstein. Judge Motz enhanced Griffin’s sentence upon finding that he is a career offender based on two prior convictions for possession with intent to distribute narcotics.
According to the evidence presented during his 3 ½ day trial, on October 31, 2007, at approximately 6:30 am, the victim left his residence on Litchfield Avenue in Baltimore, and was approached by two men who got out of a gray Acura parked on the street. The driver of the Acura, later identified as Darrick Fraling, remained in the car. The larger of the two men had a handgun and accosted the victim at gunpoint, hitting the victim in the back of the head with the weapon. Evidence at trial showed that the gunman was Griffin.
The robbers took the keys to a white Mercedes SUV and black Infiniti owned by the victim and demanded money from the victim, who handed them $20. The robbers demanded more money and according to trial testimony, the victim told the robbers that he had $800 in his home. The robbers forced the victim into his house at gunpoint, searched the house and took $800 found in the pocket of a pair of pants. One of the men took a pair of shoes and the robbers also took a number of cellular telephones from the victim. The robbers drove away in the cars belonging to the victim, followed by the gray Acura. Griffin drove the white Mercedes and the smaller man drove the black Infiniti.
The police were called but the victim was unable to identify any of the robbers. Griffin and his partner had their faces obscured and were wearing gloves. Police communications sent out a message to all units advising officers to look for a white Mercedes SUV that had been involved in a carjacking. Shortly thereafter, officers saw a white Mercedes SUV in the 2800 block of Suffolk Avenue. A black Infiniti and gray Acura were parked nearby and officers observed three men near the vehicles. As officers approached the men fled, and Griffin threw a gun into the driver’s side window of the white Mercedes as he ran. Officers arrested Griffin and Fraling, but the third man escaped.
Officers recovered the Mercedes car key which had fallen from Griffin’s hands when he was arrested. Officers observed that at the time of his arrest, Griffin was wearing gloves, which were also recovered from the scene. Officers also recovered from Griffin $800 and three cellullar telephones, identified by the victim as belonging to him.
Fraling, age 26, of Baltimore, pleaded guilty to his participation in the carjacking and Judge Motz sentenced him today to 80 months in prison, followed by three years of supervised release.
United States Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein thanked Baltimore City State’s Attorney Patricia C. Jessamy, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and the Baltimore City Police Department for their assistance in the investigation and prosecution. Mr. Rosenstein commended Assistant U.S. Attorneys Michael C. Hanlon and George Hazel, who prosecuted the case.