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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
District of Columbia

Friday, February 1, 2019

District Man Sentenced to Eight Years in Prison for Thefts at Hotels and Office Building

Defendant Dresses Professionally, Sneaks Around in Search for Items

            WASHINGTON – Ronnie Bryant, 54, of Washington, D.C., was sentenced today to eight years in prison for a series of incidents in which he stole or attempted to steal wallets at hotels and office buildings, U.S. Attorney Jessie K. Liu announced.

            Bryant was found guilty by a jury in November 2018 of a total of 12 theft and credit card fraud charges. The verdict followed a trial in the Superior Court of the District of Columbia. He was sentenced by the Honorable José M. López. Following his prison term, he will be placed on three years of supervised release.

            According to the government’s evidence, for years, Bryant has dressed professionally and entered hotels, office buildings and conference centers in the District of Columbia and Northern Virginia and stolen unattended wallets and purses. In this case, he was found guilty of three such incidents between January 25, 2016 and February 3, 2016: stealing a wallet from a private office at a downtown Washington hotel, stealing a wallet from an office at the Georgetown University Law Center, and attempting to steal a purse from beneath a conference table at another downtown hotel. A hotel security guard spotted him in that incident, leading to Bryant’s arrest.

            After the first two thefts, Bryant traveled quickly to an area where he could make as many charges as possible in a sort time. From purchasing gift cards to gas, he racked up hundreds of dollars in charges within an hour or two. All told, over an eight-day period, his crimes led to $2,000 in missing cash and fraudulent credit card charges.

            Not counting this case, Bryant has been convicted of crimes stemming from at least 21 separate incidents. He most recently was incarcerated for similar crimes in Virginia.

            In announcing the sentence, U.S. Attorney Liu commended the work of the Metropolitan Police Department officers and detectives who investigated the case. She also acknowledged the efforts of those who worked on the case from the U.S. Attorney’s Office, including Elizabeth Trosman, Chief of the Appellate Division; Assistant U.S. Attorneys Cynthia Walicki-Chan, Lauren Bates, and Chrisellen Kolb; Liaison and Operations Manager Linda McDonald; Paralegal Specialist Tierra Nanches, Rochelle Mills, Donice Adams, Crystal Waddy, and Lynda Randolph; former Law Clerk Caroline Quill; Victim/Witness Advocate Diana Lim; Victim/Witness Service Coordinators La June Thames and Tonya Jones.

            Finally, she expressed appreciation for the work of Assistant U.S. Attorneys Andrew Floyd and Kaitlin Vaillancourt, who investigated and prosecuted the case.

Financial Fraud
Press Release Number: 
Updated February 1, 2019