Two Men Sentenced to More than Fifty Years Each for Mr. Fuel Robbery in Caroline County
RICHMOND, Va. – Warren Brown, 32, and Winston Oliver, 34, both of Richmond, Va., were sentenced today for attempting to carry out an armed robbery of a Mr. Fuel Truck Plaza in Caroline County, which was thwarted by a customer who attacked the gunman threatening the store clerks. Warren Brown was sentenced to 51 years in prison and Winston Oliver was sentenced to 52 ½ years in prison.
On September 14, 2011, Brown and Oliver were convicted by a jury of conspiracy to commit robbery, attempted robbery, and two counts of using a firearm during a crime of violence.
Neil H. MacBride, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia; Michael F. A. Morehart, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI’s Richmond Field Office; and A.A. “Tony” Lippa Jr., Caroline County Sheriff, made the announcement after sentencing by United States District Judge James R. Spencer.
“Two clerks would have died if it weren’t for the heroism of a former Marine who put his life on the line to defend them,” said U.S. Attorney MacBride. “Mr. Brown feared this armed robbery would get him on late-breaking news, which definitely came true. But that was the least of his fears, and he and Mr. Oliver will now spend the next fifty years in prison for their life of crime that culminated in this armed robbery.”
“Cooperative efforts among law enforcement is not unique, but rather the norm; what is unique regarding this case is the above-and-beyond efforts of one man who selflessly put himself in harm’s way in an attempt to save others from potential bloodshed during an armed robbery,” said SAC Morehart. “Many citizens cooperated with law enforcement during this investigation and the subsequent court proceedings. With their help and our office working with the Caroline County Sheriff’s Office and the United States Attorney’s Office, Brown and Oliver were convicted of their crimes. Today’s sentencing sends the message that Caroline’s citizens will not turn a blind eye towards crime and their continued partnership with law enforcement is a force multiplier when it comes to thwarting criminal activity.”
According to court records and evidence at the two day trial, Oliver was the mastermind behind the plan to rob the truck stop after gaining inside information on the store’s cash management system. Oliver conspired with Brown to rob the Mr. Fuel Truck Plaza. On May 8, 2010, Brown entered the store armed with a handgun to carry out the robbery while Oliver waited outside in a getaway car.
While Brown threatened two store clerks with the loaded handgun, a customer in the store, a former Marine, attacked Brown with two beer bottles, which thwarted the robbery and ensured the store clerks were unharmed. Brown fired at the customer as Brown fled the store, and the customer was hit four times at point blank range: once in the shoulder, once in the right thigh, once in the groin, and once in the middle of the forehead. The customer recovered from the injuries and testified at trial.
Following the attempted robbery, Brown reunited with Oliver in the awaiting getaway car, and Oliver drove the pair back to Richmond. Brown left the handgun with Oliver, who took steps to dispose of it.
This case was investigated by the FBI’s Richmond Field Office and the Caroline County Sheriff’s Office. Assistant United States Attorneys Roderick Young and Erik Siebert prosecuted 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.