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Press Release

District Man Sentenced to Four-Year Prison Term for a February Knifepoint Robbery on the Metro

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of Columbia
Defendant Pulled a Switchblade on a Passenger After Taking the Victim’s Backpack

            WASHINGTON  –  Nwabueze Igwe, 32, of Washington, D.C., was sentenced today to four years in prison for robbing a man at knifepoint on the Metro, in February of 2023, in Northwest Washington D.C., announced U.S. Attorney Matthew M. Graves and Chief Michael Anzallo, of the Metropolitan Transit Police Department (MTPD).

            Igwe was found guilty on June 7, 2023, in the Superior Court of the District of Columbia of armed robbery, assault with a dangerous weapon, and carrying a dangerous weapon.

            In addition to the prison sentence, the Honorable Jason Park ordered Igwe to serve five years of supervised release.

            According to the government’s evidence, on the evening of Feb. 13, 2023, Igwe approached a stranger on the Metro, and yelled at him multiple times as the pair were travelling in the same car on the Green Line. As the train stopped at the Gallery Place-Chinatown Station, Igwe entered the stranger’s personal space and took his North Face backpack. When the victim asked Igwe to return the backpack, Igwe opened a switchblade and warned the victim to back away.

            Igwe and the victim both exited at the Gallery Place-Chinatown Metro station. The victim ran for help and found nearby MTPD officers. Igwe looked in both directions before jumping back on the train as the doors were closing. After reboarding the train, Igwe hid the backpack in a translucent trash bag. An hour later, Igwe returned to the Gallery Place-Chinatown Station, still carrying the victim’s pack. Metro surveillance footage captured Igwe in the immediate moments after the robbery and confirmed his flight path. MTPD officers apprehended Igwe at Gallery Place-Chinatown that night and charged him with armed robbery.

            This case was investigated by the Metropolitan Transit Police Department. It was investigated, prosecuted, and tried by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Omeed A. Assefi and Sabena Auyeung, of the Major Crimes Unit of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia. Valuable assistance was provided by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Kimberly Nielsen and Kathleen Kern, Paralegal Specialists Debra McPherson and Carolyn Carter-McKinley, and Litigation Technology Specialist Charlie Bruce.

            In announcing the sentence, U.S. Attorney Graves and Chief Anzallo commended the work of those who investigated the case from the MTPD.

Updated November 6, 2023

Violent Crime
Press Release Number: 23-676