Falls Church Man Pleads Guilty to String of Armed Robberies
Man Using Multiple Disguises Caught After Coordinated Surveillance by Local, Federal Officers
(Alexandria, Va) - Andualem Tesema Kusa, 27, of Falls Church, Va., pled guilty today to his role in a string of armed robberies throughout Northern Virginia and Maryland from Aug. 21 to Sept. 3, 2009.
Neil H. MacBride, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia, made the announcement after the plea was accepted by United States District Judge Gerald Bruce Lee. Kusa faces a mandatory minimum of 35 years and a maximum penalty of life in prison when he is sentenced on March 19, 2010.
In a statement of facts submitted with his plea agreement, Kusa admitted that he attempted to rob or successfully robbed at least eight businesses, including banks, convenience and check cashing stores located in the city of Alexandria and Arlington, Fairfax, and Prince William counties in Virginia and Montgomery County, Md. Court records indicate that Kusa entered each location armed with a revolver and dressed in various disguises, including a business suit, white robe and headdress, fake goatee beard, and glasses. Kusa took between $400 to $1,900 at each successful armed robbery.
On Aug. 22, 2009, the Arlington County Police Department issued a press release seeking information regarding a robbery suspect, which showed a suspect, later identified as Kusa, on surveillance cameras (see http://www.arlingtonva.us/Departments/Police/news/printarticle.asp?ID=684) attempting to rob a check cashing store. A short time after, an ad hoc task force of local and federal law enforcement officers began aggressive surveillance in the areas that had been hit, and Kusa was eventually arrested on Sept. 3, 2009, after a traffic stop in Lorton, Va.
This case was investigated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives’ (ATF) Washington Field Division, and the Alexandria, Arlington County, Fairfax County, Prince William County and Montgomery County police departments. Assistant United States Attorney Jonathan Fahey is prosecuting the case on behalf of the United States.A copy of this press release may be found on the website of the United States Attorney's Office for the Eastern District of Virginia at http://www.usdoj.gov/usao/vae. Related court documents and information may be found on the website of the District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia at http://www.vaed.uscourts.gov or on http://pacer.uspci.uscourts.gov.