News and Press Releases

Alexandria Man Pleads Guilty to Robbing Victim at Gunpoint After iPhone Sale Ad

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
November 16, 2011

ALEXANDRIA, Va. – Deshawn Derr, 25, of Alexandria, Va., pleaded guilty today to robbing a victim at gunpoint of $2,500 in cash, after the man arrived at a pre-arranged location responding to an advertisement placed on Craigslist.org purporting to sell Apple iPhones.

            Neil H. MacBride, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia; Colonel David Rohrer, Fairfax County Chief of Police; and William Hoover, Special Agent in Charge of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives’ (ATF) Washington Field Division, made the announcement after the plea was accepted by United States District Judge James C. Cacheris. 

Derr pled guilty to carrying and using a firearm during and in relation to a crime of violence, which carries a mandatory minimum penalty of seven years in prison and a maximum of life in prison. He also pleaded guilty to conspiring to commit robbery, which carries a maximum of 20 years in prison. Derr is scheduled to be sentenced on February 3, 2012.

According to court documents, in June 2011 Derr and a conspirator posted internet advertisements on Craigslist, purportedly selling Apple iPhones.  Once interested parties replied to the online ads, the conspirators arranged to meet them at locations in Northern Virginia.  The potential customers were instructed to bring United States currency to the meeting.  However, the conspirators never intended to sell Apple iPhones; instead, the conspirators intended to rob them at gunpoint.

            On June 5, 2011, Derr and a conspirator attempted to rob a prospective purchaser in Arlington County. On June 17, 2011, Derr and a conspirator robbed a victim in Fairfax County at gunpoint. Court documents state that Derr approached the victim’s car, opened the door, and while pointing a pistol at the victim stated, “You know how this is going to go.”  Derr then reached across the victim’s body and took a bag containing approximately $2,500.

Derr was an active duty Air Force Staff Sergeant at the time of the offenses.  He was assigned to Andrews Air Force Base as a military police officer.

The alleged co-conspirator, David Shawn Ramsey, 41, of Prince George’s County, Maryland, was arrested on a criminal complaint charging him conspiracy to commit robbery.  The public is reminded that criminal complaints are only charges and not evidence of guilt.  A defendant is presumed to be innocent until and unless proven guilty. 

This investigation was conducted by the Fairfax County Police Department and ATF, with the assistance of Air Force Office of Special Operations.  Special Assistant United States Attorney Marc J. Birnbaum 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.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.

 

 

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