District Man Pleads Guilty to Three Armed Robberies Of Commercial Establishments in Washington, D.C.
For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of Columbia
Defendant is Among Four to Plead Guilty to Federal Charges For Series of Robberies of Stores in Late 2015
WASHINGTON – Anthony Burns, 23, of Washington, D.C., pled guilty today to federal conspiracy, robbery, and weapons offenses for a series of armed robberies in late 2015 that targeted commercial businesses, 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).
Burns pled guilty in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia to one count of conspiracy to interfere with interstate commerce by robbery, three counts of interference with interstate commerce by robbery, and one count of using, carrying, brandishing and possessing a firearm during a crime of violence. He is to be sentenced on July 25, 2017, by the Honorable Amy Berman Jackson. He faces a statutory maximum of 20 years in prison on each of the conspiracy and robbery charges, and a possible life prison term for the weapons offense. Under federal sentencing guidelines, he faces a likely range of 130 to 141 months in prison and a potential fine of $15,000 to $150,000. He also is subject to orders of restitution and forfeiture.
Burns remains held without bond pending sentencing. Three other defendants have pled guilty to federal charges related to their roles in the armed robberies, which targeted stores in Washington, D.C. and Maryland. They include Gregory Hull, 23, of Suitland, Md; Breyon Lee, 23, and Lee’s brother, Bradley Lee, 21, both of Washington, D.C. All are awaiting sentencing.
According to the government’s evidence, on Nov. 27, 2015, at approximately 2 p.m., store surveillance video captured Burns, Hull, and an unidentified co-conspirator, who were masked and armed with handguns, as they robbed the City Beats shoe store, in the 3000 block of Martin Luther King, Jr. Avenue SE. The men ordered everyone in the store to get on the floor. Burns approached a store employee with his gun drawn and demanded that the employee open the cash register. Burns, Hull, and their accomplice fled with approximately $1,594 in stolen cash and several pairs of stolen shoes.
According to the government’s evidence, on Dec. 13, 2015, at approximately 4:40 a.m., Burns and an unidentified co-conspirator entered the 7-Eleven convenience store in the 4600 block of South Capitol Street SW. Surveillance video showed that both men tried to conceal their identities using masks and hooded garments, and Burns was armed with a handgun. Burns pointed a gun at a store employee’s head, grabbed him behind the collar, and forced him behind the store counter. Burns demanded money from the cash register and a safe underneath the counter. When the employee was unable to open the register and safe, Burns struck him on the back of his head with the gun, causing a laceration. A second employee came out of the bathroom, and Burns’s accomplice forced the employee to open the cash registers. Burns and his accomplice grabbed an undetermined amount of cash from the registers and several packs of cigarettes and cigars.
About 40 minutes after the 7-Eleven robbery, government evidence shows, Burns and the accomplice entered another 7-Eleven store in the 900 block of Eastern Avenue NE, again wearing masks and hooded garments. Burns jumped over the counter and pointed the gun at the cashier, demanding money from the cash register. The employee opened both registers. Burns and his accomplice grabbed an undetermined amount of cash and fled.
Burns was arrested pursuant to an arrest warrant on December 29, 2015.
In announcing the plea, U.S. Attorney Phillips, Assistant Director in Charge Vale, and Acting Chief Newsham commended the actions of those who worked on the case from the FBI’s Washington Field Office and the Metropolitan Police Department. They also expressed appreciation for the assistance provided by the Prince George’s County, Md. Police Department. They acknowledged the efforts of those who worked on the case from the U.S. Attorney’s Office, including former Assistant U.S. Attorney Margaret Barr, Paralegal Specialist Catherine O’Neal, and Legal Assistant Peter Gaboton. Finally, they commended the work of Assistant U.S. Attorney Jamila Hodge, who is prosecuting the case.
Updated May 11, 2017
Press Release Number: 17-104