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Press Release

Last Defendant Sentenced to More than 10 Years for Robbery of a Pharmaceutical Van Driver and Possession of a Machinegun

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of Columbia
Defendant Advertised the Oxycodone He Had Netted on Instagram

            WASHINGTON D.C. – Juwuan Edward Francis Champion, 24, of Bowie, Md., was sentenced to 121 months in prison today for his role in the felony armed robbery of a pharmaceutical van driver and possession of a machinegun, announced U.S. Attorney Matthew M. Graves, Special Agent in Charge Craig Kailimai of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) Washington Field Division, and Chief Pamela A. Smith of the Metropolitan Police Department.

            Champion, aka “Big Money,” pleaded guilty on December 19, 2023, to conspiracy to interfere with interstate commerce by robbery (known as conspiracy to commit a Hobbs Act robbery) and unlawful possession of a machine gun. In addition to the 10-years plus one-month prison sentence, U.S. District Judge Amit P. Mehta ordered Champion to serve three years of supervised release.

            Court documents alleged that Champion was among four crew members participating in a drug trafficking operation in the Potomac Gardens neighborhood of Southeast Washington. The three other members included Fitzgerald Hunt, 24, of Washington, D.C., also known as “GMoney,” Joshua Johnson, 18, of Capitol Heights, Md., also known as “Lil Josh,” and Keyshawn Lavender, 20, of Washington, D.C., also known as “Key.” From January to October 2021, the crew members allegedly trafficked in Oxycodone, Alprazolam, and a variety of illegal narcotics.

            In pleading guilty, Champion, Hunt, and Johnson admitted that on March 30, 2021, they conspired to rob a pharmaceutical delivery van driver outside a pharmacy in Waldorf, Md. The driver was placed in handcuffs and hit on the head with a firearm. Then the defendants drove the van back to Washington, D.C., with pharmaceuticals valued at over $95,000.

            At 2:46 p.m. on March 30, 2021, MPD located the stolen van on the 1500 block of 19th Street, SE. At about 6 p.m. Prince George’s County police found discarded contents from the van, including numerous emptied bottles of oxycodone, in Bowie, Maryland. Fingerprints found on the contents matched Champion and his co-defendants, and other items recovered had Champion’s DNA. That same afternoon, Champion posted a photo on Instagram depicting an assortment of oxycodone pills on a plate. He also sent a flurry of direct-messages to a number of Instagram accounts touting that the pills were for sale in Potomac Gardens.

            On October 6, 2021, at the residence where Champion was staying, police recovered a Ruger Five Seven 5.7x28mm caliber pistol with an obliterated serial number, loaded with 13 rounds of 5.7 caliber ammunition; a Glock 48, 9mm pistol loaded with 11 rounds; five Glock magazines; assorted ammunition inside a shoebox; approximately $37,280 in cash; and a “Big Money” jewelry pendant.

            Law enforcement arrested Champion and his co-defendants on October 7, 2021.

            Hunt was sentenced on September 29, 2023, to 108 months in prison. Johnson was sentenced as part of a global resolution to 60 months in prison in Charles County, Maryland, for the armed carjacking, running concurrently to a 12-month sentence in this jurisdiction for drug conspiracy. The final defendant, Lavender, was not alleged to have had a role in the robbery and was sentenced to 30 months in prison for his role in the drug conspiracy.

            This case was investigated by the ATF Washington Field Office and the Metropolitan Police Department (MPD). Critical support was provided by the Charles County Md. Sheriff’s Office and Charles County State’s Attorney’s Office, and additional assistance was provided by the U.S. Marshals Service, the Prince George’s County, Md. Police Department, and Anne Arundel County, Md. Police Department.

            The case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Candice Wong and Solomon Eppel of the Violence Reduction and Trafficking Offenses Section of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia. Assistance was provided by former Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Allison McGuire.

Updated March 15, 2024

Drug Trafficking
Firearms Offenses
Press Release Number: 24-243