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Press Release

District Man Sentenced to 28 Years in Prison For Armed Home Invasion in Northeast Washington

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of Columbia
Victims Were Held at Gunpoint by Masked Men While Their Home Was Ransacked

            WASHINGTON – Gregory Gantt, 21, of Washington, D.C., was sentenced today to 28 years in prison for his role in an armed home invasion that took place in October 2013 in Northeast Washington, announced Acting U.S. Attorney Vincent H. Cohen, Jr.

            Gantt pled guilty in August 2014, in the Superior Court of the District of Columbia, to charges of conspiracy to commit a crime of violence while armed, first-degree burglary while armed, first-degree theft, tampering with physical evidence, and second-degree burglary. He was sentenced by the Honorable William M. Jackson. Upon completion of his prison term, Gantt will be placed on five years of supervised release.    

            According to the government’s evidence, Gantt and his accomplices, who were wearing ski masks, carried out the crimes at about 2:30 a.m. on Oct. 3, 2013. They saw a taxicab dropping off the victim in the 5700 block of Blaine Street NE. They followed the victim into his home. Once inside, they held the victim, the victim’s fiancé, and the victim’s mother at gunpoint for approximately 40 minutes while they ransacked the home and stole various items. Those items included cash, electronics, and the fiancé’s engagement ring, which the fiancé unsuccessfully tried to hide from the defendants during the burglary.

            Gantt and the other assailants left the home in two vehicles that belonged to the victims and deposited the proceeds from the burglary inside a vacant home on Raleigh Street SE. Worried that the police might recover fingerprints from the vehicles they had stolen, the men then drove the vehicles into a field adjacent to an elementary school on Alabama Avenue SE, set the vehicles on fire, and retreated on foot to the vacant home on Raleigh Street SE.

            Gantt was wearing a GPS tracking device in connection with his supervised release in an unrelated robbery case. Members of the Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) used data generated by that device to track the defendants to the home on Raleigh Street SE. The police barricaded the residence and ultimately arrested the defendants, including Gantt, in or near the residence. The police also recovered most of the proceeds of the burglary, along with several ski masks, from the Raleigh Street home. The police did not recover the engagement ring.

            Two others are serving prison terms for their roles in the various crimes, and a third is awaiting sentencing. Andre Townsend, 20, of Washington, D.C., pled guilty to armed robbery, first-degree burglary, tampering with physical evidence, and unlawful entry and was sentenced in August 2014 to eight years in prison. Darnell Mason, 22, of Washington, D.C., was found guilty by a jury of obstruction of justice and related actions he took following the armed home invasion; he was sentenced in February 2015 to 22½ years in prison. Shareem Hall, 21, of Washington, D.C., pled guilty to charges of conspiracy to commit a crime of violence while armed, first-degree burglary while armed, first-degree theft, tampering with physical evidence, and second-degree burglary. He has not yet been sentenced.

            In announcing today’s sentence, Acting U.S. Attorney Cohen praised the work of the detectives and officers who investigated the case for the Metropolitan Police Department. He also acknowledged the efforts of those who worked on the case for the U.S. Attorney’s Office, including Paralegal Specialists Richard Cheatham and Antoinette Sakamsa, Litigation Technology Specialists Aneela Bhatia and Leif Hickling, witness advocates Jim Brennan and Jennifer Clark, and former intern Harris Davidson. Finally, Acting U.S. Attorney Cohen acknowledged the efforts of Assistant U.S. Attorneys Ben Schrader and Karen Seifert, who investigated and prosecuted the case.

Updated June 5, 2015

Press Release Number: 15-110