Get-away Driver Pleads Guilty to Bank Robbery

Two Co-Defendants Previously Pleaded Guilty to Bank Robbery and Brandishing a Gun

July 12, 2011

Baltimore, Maryland - Vaughan Barksdale, age 47, of Rockville, Maryland, pleaded guilty today to bank robbery. Co-defendants Lamar Pannell, age 38, and Arnell Johnson, age 28, both of Washington, D.C., pleaded guilty on June 27 and July 7, 2011, respectively, to bank robbery and brandishing a firearm during a crime of violence.

The guilty plea 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; 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, Lamar Pannell and Arnell Johnson robbed the M&T Bank on Main Street in Damascus, Maryland. Pannell and Johnson were brandishing a silver Smith & Wesson .357 Magnum revolver, and an M9 rifle. In an effort to disguise their identities, Pannell wore a tan baseball cap and sunglasses, and Johnson wore a wig with shoulder-length braids, dark glasses, and a floppy blue hat. After entering the bank, Pannell placed the revolver he was brandishing on a counter inside the bank, with the end of the barrel pointed toward 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 left the bank and entered a waiting vehicle driven by Vaughn 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, Pannell was apprehended after a short pursuit, and Arnell 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.

The defendants each face a maximum penalty of 25 years in prison for the bank robbery. Pannell and Johnson both also face a maximum of life and a mandatory minimum of seven years in prison, consecutive to any other sentence imposed, for their gun charges. U.S. District Judge Roger W. Titus, has scheduled sentencing for Barksdale on October 20, 2011 at 3:00 p.m. Judge Titus scheduled sentencing for Pannell on October 7, 2011, and for Johnson October 20, 2011, both at 9:00 a.m.

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 Georges 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 are prosecuting the case.

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