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Press Release

District Man Pleads Guilty to Broad-Daylight Bank Robbery

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of Columbia
Defendant Was on Supervised Release for Felony Offenses When Arrested

            WASHINGTON – Marquese Kelsey, 30, of Washington, D.C., pled guilty today to carrying out a broad-daylight robbery of a bank in downtown Washington, announced U.S. Attorney Channing D. Phillips, Andrew Vale, Assistant Director in Charge of the FBI’s Washington Field Office, and Peter Newsham, Chief of the Metropolitan Police Department (MPD).


            Kelsey pled guilty before the Honorable James E. Boasberg in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, to one count of bank robbery. Kelsey faces a statutory maximum of 20 years in prison. Under federal sentencing guidelines, he faces a likely range of 63 to 78 months in prison and potential financial penalties. He also is subject to an order of restitution and a forfeiture money judgment. Judge Boasberg scheduled sentencing for Sept. 18, 2017.


            The government’s evidence established that on June 1, 2017, at approximately 3:15 p.m., Kelsey entered a PNC bank in the 800 block of Seventh Street NW and handed a note to a bank teller that stated, “I need you to give me all big bills, no dye packs. I’m carrying a loaded weapon. Any quick movements and someone is going to get hurt!!!”


            In response, the bank teller gave Kelsey approximately $1,734. After handing over the money, the bank teller alerted a bank employee that a robbery was occurring, and the bank’s silent alarm was activated. In response, members of the FBI’s Violent Crimes Task Force, which includes MPD detectives, as well as First District MPD officers, responded to the bank.


            Based on information given to MPD’s Crime Solvers Tip Line, law enforcement learned that an individual who frequented Franklin Square Park had discussed participating in the bank robbery and was in possession of a large sum of money. Law enforcement also learned that the suspect had been arrested for solicitation hours after having committed the bank robbery. Based on this information, law enforcement was able to identify the suspect as Kelsey, who matched the bank surveillance video. After the solicitation incident, Kelsey ran from Third District MPD officers and in the process, hid an amount of cash on private property. The owner of the property subsequently alerted law enforcement to the presence of the money. After law enforcement officers retrieved the money, it was determined that at least some of the bills could be traced to the bank robbery.


            Kelsey was arrested on June 3 and has been in custody ever since. At the time of his arrest, Kelsey was on supervised release for attempted robbery and attempted possession with intent to distribute cocaine and had been released from incarceration less than 30 days earlier on those charges. Kelsey now faces formal revocation of his supervised release and additional incarceration, separate from the above-referenced sentence, from the U.S. Parole Commission.


            In announcing the plea, U.S. Attorney Phillips, Assistant Director in Charge Vale, and Chief Newsham commended the work of the FBI’s Violent Crimes Task Force and First and Third District MPD officers in quickly investigating and arresting Kelsey. They also acknowledged the efforts of those who worked on the case from the U.S. Attorney’s Office, including Assistant U.S. Attorney Christopher Macchiaroli of the Violent Crime and Narcotics Trafficking Section, Paralegal Specialists Candace Battle and Teesha Tobias, and Legal Assistant Latoya Wade.

Updated June 26, 2017

Press Release Number: 17-135