Maryland Man Pleads Guilty to Role in Triple-Murder Home Invasion Robbery
ALEXANDRIA, Va. – Delante T. Cook, 35, of Prince George’s County, Md., pled guilty today to conspiracy to commit robbery, attempted robbery, and using a firearm during a home invasion robbery that resulted in the stabbing murders of three men in Springfield, Va., on Nov. 19, 2008.
Neil H. MacBride, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia, and Colonel David Rohrer, Fairfax County Chief of Police, made the announcement after the plea was accepted by United States District Judge Claude M. Hilton.
“Mr. Cook admitted today to carrying out a triple-murder home invasion robbery,” said U.S. Attorney MacBride. “He and others masqueraded as police officers to rob and stab three men to death. Today’s plea could not have been possible without the dogged determination of the Fairfax County Police Department to follow every lead and eventually crack a years-old case.”
In the plea agreement entered in court today, the defense and government jointly recommended a prison sentence of life in prison plus 20 years. Sentencing is scheduled for Dec. 16, 2011.
According to court records, Cook, Jelani Slay, and other co-conspirators targeted the residence of Ryan and Terence Strope for a home invasion robbery because they believed the two men were marijuana traffickers and possessed a large amount of cash and marijuana in the home.
On Nov. 17 and 18, 2008, Cook and his conspirators drove to Fairfax County, Va., to conduct physical surveillance of the Strope residence and plan the robbery. The following night, Nov. 19, 2008, the conspirators dressed as law enforcement, arming themselves with weapons – including knives and firearms – and entered the Strope residence to carry out the home invasion robbery. Ryan Strope, Terence Strope, and another man, Andres, Yelicie, were murdered as members of the conspiracy stabbed them during the course of the robbery. According to the indictment, the conspirators pistol whipped one of the victims during the attack.
This case was investigated by the Fairfax County Police Department. Assistant United States Attorneys Jonathan Fahey and Sean Tonolli are 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.justice.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 https://pcl.uscourts.gov.