Six Charged in Connection with Armored Car Robberies
Baltimore, Maryland - A federal grand jury has returned a second superseding indictment charging Donald Cromwell, age 54; Walter Morsley, age 49; Melvin Morton, age 55; Charles Witherspoon, age 49; and Danielle Best, age 26, all of Baltimore, with: conspiracy to commit armed robberies of armored cars; committing an armed robbery of an armored car on May 9, 2008; and possession of a gun in furtherance of a crime of violence, announced United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Rod J. Rosenstein. In addition, Cromwell is charged in connection with armored car robberies on June 13 and July 22, 2008, and the indictment charges Cromwell and Melvin Morton with attempted armed robbery of an armored car on August 6, 2008. Cromwell, Morton and Charles Witherspoon are also charged with illegal possession of a firearm by a convicted felon. Latarsha McLean, age 25, of Baltimore, is charged as an accessory after the fact. The indictment was returned on May 20, 2009 and unsealed today upon the arrests of the defendants.
According to the 14 count indictment, the defendants conspired to rob armored cars at gunpoint and robbed an armored car at gunpoint on May 9, 2008, at the Lexington Market, stealing $105,000. The indictment charges that Cromwell, Morsley, Morton, Witherspoon and Best also conspired to commit armored car robberies on June 13, July 22 and August 6, 2008. The indictment alleges that Cromwell committed armed robberies of armored cars on June 13 and July 22, 2008, stealing $60,000 and $24,465, respectively. The indictment further alleges that Cromwell and Morton committed an attempted armed robbery of an armored car on August 6, 2008, attempting to steal $261,000. The indictment further alleges that after the attempted robbery Latarsha McLean sheltered Cromwell while he recovered from a gunshot wound sustained in the August 6th attempted robbery and hid and disposed of the firearms used in the robberies.
The defendants face a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison for the robbery charges and five years in prison for the conspiracy charge; a maximum of life in prison for possession of a firearm in furtherance of a crime of violence. Cromwell, Morton and Witherspoon also face a maximum of 10 years in prison for illegal possession of a firearm by a previously convicted felon. McLean faces a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison for being an accessory after the fact.
The defendants were scheduled to have their initial appearances in federal district court beginning at 1:00 p.m. today. Cromwell is in federal custody on related charges and Witherspoon is being held in state custody.
An indictment is not a finding of guilt. An individual charged by indictment is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty at some later criminal proceedings.
United States Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein thanked the Baltimore City State’s Attorney Patricia C. Jessamy, the Baltimore Police Department and the Federal Bureau of Investigation for their assistance in the investigation and prosecution. Mr. Rosenstein commended Assistant United States Attorney James G. Warwick, who is prosecuting the case.