Conspirator in Attempted Armored Car Robbery Sentenced to 31 Years in Prison

Federal Conviction “Should Be His Last”

October 28, 2010

Baltimore, Maryland - U.S. District Judge Richard D. Bennett sentenced Melvin Morton, age 56, of Baltimore, today to 31 years in prison followed by three years of supervised release for conspiracy to commit robbery, attempted armed robbery, possession of a gun by a felon and brandishing a gun, in connection with an attempted armed robbery of a Loomis Armored car at 421 North Charles Street. Judge Bennett enhanced Morton’s sentence upon finding that he is a career offender based on four previous convictions for armed robberies.

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

“Melvin Morton will never again attack a Maryland citizen,” said U.S. Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein. “After four previous convictions, Melvin Morton’s life of crime has come to an end. This federal conviction should be his last.”

According to testimony presented at the three day trial, on August 6, 2008 Morton and co-defendant Donald Cromwell drove north on Charles Street searching for an armored vehicle to rob. Cromwell spotted a Loomis Armored vehicle, parked in the 400 block of North Charles Street while a Loomis employee was servicing an ATM machine. Morton and Cromwell got out of the car, approached the Loomis guard from behind and pointed their pistols at the guard. Morton began to take money bags from the armored vehicle. The guard, believing that he was going to be killed, fired several shots at the robbers and retreated into the armored car. Morton and Cromwell returned to their getaway car. Cromwell was wounded and bleeding from the shots fired by the guard. The robbers drove to Morton’s house where they stashed the guns, and Cromwell was treated for his gunshot wound.

A subsequent investigation identified Morton and Cromwell as the robbers, and Morton was arrested on June 4, 2009.

Donald Cromwell, age 55, of Baltimore, was convicted at a separate trial of robbing a Dunbar Armored car of $105,000 at the Lexington Market; a Loomis Armored car of $60,000 at the Royal Farms store on Eastern Avenue on June 13, 2008; a Dunbar car of $24,000 in collection proceeds of St. Pius X Church on July 22, 2008; and the attempted robbery of $261,000 from the Loomis car on August 6, 2008. Judge Bennett sentenced Cromwell on April 23, 2010 to 106 years in prison for his leadership role in the robberies, and ordered Cromwell to pay restitution of $125,500 to Dunbar Armored and $60,000 to Loomis Armored.

Walter Morsley, age 50, of Baltimore, was also convicted at trial for his participation in the Lexington Market robbery and sentenced on March 26, 2010 to 33 years in prison. Judge Bennett also ordered that Morsley pay restitution of $105,000. Charles Witherspoon, age 50, of Baltimore, pleaded guilty and was sentenced on December 22, 2009 to 15 years in prison for one of the armed robberies and possession of a gun in furtherance of a crime of violence.

United States Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein commended the Baltimore City State’s Attorney’s Office, the FBI and the Baltimore Police Department for their investigatory work and assistance in the prosecution. Mr. Rosenstein thanked Assistant United States Attorneys James G. Warwick and Rachel M. Yasser, who prosecuted the case.

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