District Man Sentenced to Six Years in Prison for OfferUp Armed Robbery Scheme
Defendant Used Online Marketplace to Target Victims
WASHINGTON – Derkwon Johnson, 18, of Washington, D.C., was sentenced today to six years in prison for a pair of armed robberies committed in March 2016 in which he lured unsuspecting victims to his neighborhood in Southeast Washington and robbed them at gunpoint or knifepoint, announced U.S. Attorney Jessie K. Liu and Peter Newsham, Chief of the Metropolitan Police Department (MPD).
Johnson pled guilty in September 2017, in the Superior Court of the District of Columbia, to seven charges, including, conspiracy to commit robbery, robbery while armed, possession of a firearm during a crime of violence, assault with a deadly weapon, robbery while armed, possession with the intent to distribute PCP, and possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking offense. He was sentenced by the Honorable Thomas J. Motley. Upon completion of his prison term, Johnson will be placed on five years of supervised release.
According to the government’s evidence, Johnson and several unidentified individuals created fake accounts on OfferUp, an online marketplace to buy and sell goods. They did so for the purpose of luring unsuspecting victims to their neighborhood and robbing them at gunpoint. Johnson and at least one other individual began posting items for sale in March 2016. Throughout the course of the scheme, Johnson posted items for sale, including, but not limited to, iPhones, expensive shoes, dirt bikes, and high-end cars such as an Audi A6.
On March 3, 2016, one victim believed he was traveling to the 1200 block of Easton Road SE in order to buy an iPhone from an individual using the OfferUp screen name “Larry.” When the victim arrived on the block, Johnson came to his car with a bag, sat in the car, and immediately pulled out a firearm and pointed it at the victim’s head, declaring, “Give me the --- money or I’m gonna --- kill you.” Johnson stole $300 and cut the victim’s hand with a knife during a brief struggle.
Three days later, Johnson lured another victim to the same block for the purpose of buying a dirt bike. This victim arrived at the location, exited his truck, and was quickly grabbed by two individuals, one of whom stuck a knife to his chest. They dragged him back to his pick-up truck where a third individual approached and broke the passenger side window. One of the individuals stated, “Where’s the money, don’t lie to me or I’ll kill you.” The victim told the assailants where the money was hidden inside of his truck, and they escaped with $1,000.
Johnson was soon identified through fingerprints that he left at both crime scenes. Additionally, he used his mother’s Internet IP address to set up the OfferUp accounts.
MPD officers attempted to arrest Johnson for these robberies on July 31, 2016. Johnson attempted to flee but was apprehended. Upon arrest, he had PCP in his pocket, and a loaded firearm tucked in his compression shorts. He has been in custody since his arrest.
In announcing the sentence, U.S. Attorney Liu and Chief Newsham commended the work of those who investigated the case from the Metropolitan Police Department. They also expressed appreciation for the assistance provided by the District of Columbia Department of Forensic Sciences. They acknowledged the efforts of those who handled the case at the U.S. Attorney’s Office, including Assistant U.S. Attorneys Kevin L. Rosenberg and Brittany Keil, who prosecuted the case, and Assistant U.S. Attorney Laura A. Bach, who supervised the prosecution.