Two Prince George’s County Men Sentenced to Prison for a Series of Armed Robberies

Participated in Six Robberies Taking Cash and Merchandise

February 11, 2011

Greenbelt, Maryland - U.S. District Judge Alexander Williams, Jr., sentenced Carlos Rodriguez, age 21, of Hyattsville, Maryland, to 55 months in prison, followed by three years of supervised release today and on February 9, 2011, sentenced co-defendant Paul Lewis, age 30, of Landover, Maryland to 10 years in prison, followed by five years of supervised release, in connection with a series of armed robberies of businesses in Prince George’s County. Rodriguez and Lewis previously pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit armed commercial robbery and Lewis also pleaded guilty to brandishing a firearm during a crime of violence. Judge Williams also ordered Rodriguez and Lewis to pay restitution of $23,556.85 and $22,900.78, respectively.

The sentences were announced by United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Rod J. Rosenstein; Special Agent in Charge Theresa R. Stoop of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives - Baltimore Field Division; Prince George’s County State’s Attorney Angela Alsobrooks; and Interim Chief Mark Magaw of the Prince George’s County Police Department.

“ATF continues our efforts to put violent criminals behind bars,” says ATF Special Agent in Charge Theresa Stoop, “because our goal is to ensure that our law abiding citizens feel safe where they live and work.”

According to the defendants’ plea agreements, from June 18 through August 3, 2009, Lewis, Rodriguez and co-defendant Kelvin Williams participated in a conspiracy to rob several businesses in the Prince George’s County area. In six robberies, one of the conspirators drove to the location while the other two conspirators robbed the store, with the three conspirators splitting the proceeds. The defendants were armed during the robberies, Williams and Lewis with a black revolver and Rodriguez with a BB gun, which resembled a handgun. The defendants used the guns to threaten the store employees and other victims during the robberies.

The defendants robbed: the Ashley Stuart Clothing Store, located at 7001 Martin Luther King Highway in Seat Pleasant, on June 18, 2009, stealing $802.50; the Last Stop Clothing Store, located at 6185 Oxen Hill Road, in Forestville, on June 23, 2009, stealing $400; the Famous Pawnbrokers located at 5405 Annapolis Road, in Bladensburg, on July 2, 2009, stealing $2,460; the Game Stop located at 5706 Silver Hill Road in District Heights, on July 20, 2009, stealing $5,647.30 in business proceeds, along with two PlayStation 3 (PS3) games consoles and 36 PS3 games.

On July 27, 2009, Williams alone robbed the Game Stop in Forestville, taking $2,740.98 and four PlayStation 3 (PS3) game consoles and a PS3 game.

In addition, on August 1, 2009, the defendants robbed Penn Mar Liquors, located at 3022 Donnell Drive in Forestville, stealing $850; and on August 3, 2009, the defendants robbed the Famous Pawnbrokers located at 7511 Landover Road in Landover, stealing $10,000. A witness saw two masked men running out of the Famous Pawnbrokers and followed the vehicle while calling the police. Prince George’s County Police Department followed the car to Lewis’ home in the 1600 block of Roosevelt Avenue. Lewis and Rodriguez were arrested as they got out of the car, but Williams ran away.

On August 3, 2009, Williams’ girlfriend contacted police and reported that her red Pontiac Sunfire, which had been used in the last robbery, had been stolen. Officers arrived at the hotel room where Williams’ girlfriend had been staying and discovered, among other things, latex gloves, PS3 games, PS3 Console, PS3 accessories and men’s clothes.

On August 6, 2009, police executed a search warrant at the residence of Williams’ parents, in Seat Pleasant, and seized a black and white scarf (identified as worn as a mask during the July 20 and July 27 robberies described above), ammunition for a .357 Magnum and a .40 caliber Smith & Wesson, three PS3 games, and one box containing a PSP game station. A search warrant was executed the same day at a hotel where Williams was staying. Williams was arrested and law enforcement recovered: approximately $4,701, 133.6 grams of marijuana, 18.4 grams of crack cocaine and 2.4 grams of ecstasy. From Williams’ backpack officers recovered a Charter Arms, Model Bull Dog, .357 Magnum caliber revolver, that matched the description of the gun used in the robberies.

Kelvin Williams, age 44 of Seat Pleasant, Maryland, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit armed commercial robbery and to brandishing a firearm during a crime of violence. He is scheduled to be sentenced on April 11, 2011.

United States Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein commended the ATF, Prince Georges County Police and the Prince George’s County State’s Attorney’s Office for their work in this investigation and prosecution. Mr. Rosenstein thanked Assistant United States Attorney Stacy Dawson Belf, who prosecuted the case, and Prince George’s County Assistant State’s Attorney Christine Murphy, who assisted in the prosecution.

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