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Press Release

District Man Pleads Guilty to the December 2022 Hobbs Act Armed Robberies of D.C. Businesses

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of Columbia
Defendant pleaded guilty to two counts of interference with interstate commerce by robbery

            WASHINGTON – A District man pleaded guilty today to federal felony charges in a pair of armed robberies that targeted commercial establishments during one night in December 2022, announced U.S. Attorney Matthew Graves; FBI Acting Special Agent in Charge David Geist, of the Washington Field Office's Criminal and Cyber Division; and Chief Pamela Smith, of the Metropolitan Police Department.

            Damion Byrd, 21, of Washington D.C., pleaded guilty to two counts of interference with interstate commerce by robbery (also known as a Hobbs Act robbery) in U.S. District Court in the District of Columbia.

            On December 13, 2022, at 11:41 p.m. Byrd entered a convenience store on the 2300 block of Rhode Island Ave., NW, and asked an employee for juice. The employee told Byrd that the juice was in the refrigerator. Byrd retrieved a bottle of water and walked towards the counter where he tossed a $1 bill. Byrd then pointed a firearm at the employee and stated, “I need the money all the money you have.” The employee emptied the register and handed over the cash.

            On December 14, 2022, at 12:43 a.m., Byrd drove a silver-colored sedan to the drive-thru window of a fast-food restaurant on the 3900 block of Minnesota Ave., NE. Byrd exited the vehicle, pointed a firearm at a cashier, and said, “Open the register and I won’t shoot.” The cashier ran away. Byrd reached in the window, grabbed the cash register, and fled in the vehicle.

           Byrd was arrested on January 11, 2023, in Washington, D.C. and has been detained ever since.

            U.S. District Court Judge Tanya S. Chutkan set a sentencing date for March 26, 2024. Byrd faces a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison. A federal district court judge will determine any sentence after considering the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.

            In announcing the plea, U.S. Attorney Graves, SAC Geist, and Chief Smith commended the MPD officers and FBI agents who collaborated on the investigation as members of MPD's Violent Crime Suppression Unit and FBI's Washington Field Office's Violent Crimes Task Force.

            This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Shehzad Akhtar of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia.  Paralegal Karla Nunez provided valuable assistance.  

Updated December 21, 2023

Topics
Firearms Offenses
Violent Crime
Press Release Number: 23-782