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Press Release

District Man Sentenced To 16-Month Prison Term In Break-in At Public Charter School–At Time Of Offense, Defendant Was On Probation For Earlier Robbery-

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of Columbia

     WASHINGTON - Thomas Asa Fields, 19, of Washington, D.C., was sentenced today to 16 months in prison on a charge stemming from a break-in last year at a public charter school in Northeast Washington, U.S. Attorney Ronald C. Machen Jr. announced.

     Fields pled guilty in January 2013 in the Superior Court of the District of Columbia to attempted second-degree burglary.  He was sentenced by the Honorable Robert I. Richter. Upon completion of his sentence, Fields will be placed on three years of supervised release.

     According to the government’s evidence, on Sept. 22, 2012, at about 11:40 p.m., the Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) responded to the Options Public Charter School in the 1300 block of E Street NE for a report of an ongoing burglary.  At the scene, the police set up a perimeter and observed Fields and two other suspects fleeing from one of the school's buildings.  The police pursued these individuals and caught up to them.  The police canvassed the school area and recovered a backpack, with four laptops belonging to the school.  The backpack was located where the police had observed Fields leaving the building.

     Subsequent investigation revealed that Fields was on probation for a prior robbery conviction and that he was wearing a GPS monitoring device as part of his probation conditions.  Tracking information showed that he was inside the school at the time of the reported burglary. A second defendant earlier pled guilty to charges in the case.

     In the robbery case, Fields previously pled guilty in the Superior Court of the District of Columbia to snatching an iPhone from an unsuspecting victim. He was placed on probation in July 2012.  After Fields was re-arrested for the burglary matter, the Honorable Lynn Leibovitz revoked his probation and sentenced him to two years in prison.

     Judge Richter ordered the sentence for the attempted burglary charge to be run consecutively to the sentence in the robbery matter, meaning that Fields now faces a total of three years and four months of incarceration.

     In announcing today's sentence, U.S. Attorney Machen commended the work of the Metropolitan Police Department.  He also acknowledged the efforts of Assistant U.S. Attorney John C. Truong, who investigated and prosecuted the case.


Updated February 19, 2015