Two District Men Sentenced To Prison Terms For Armed Robberies In Northwest WashingtonPair Of Attacks Took Place Within Nine-Day Period; Victims Accosted While Returning To Their Homes
WASHINGTON – Lamont Lamar Buskey, 34, was sentenced today to 16 ½ years in prison, and Keith Allen Simms, 41, was sentenced to a 12 ½-year prison term, for a pair of armed robberies that took place within a nine-day period in 2013 in the Columbia Heights area of Northwest Washington, U.S. Attorney Ronald C. Machen Jr. announced.
Buskey and Simms, both of Washington, D.C., were found guilty by a jury in May 2014 of 11 charges each, following a trial in the Superior Court of the District of Columbia. Each was found guilty of one count of conspiracy, one count of first-degree burglary while armed, one count of second-degree burglary, two counts of armed robbery, two counts of robbery, one count of armed kidnapping, two counts of kidnapping, and one count of carrying a dangerous weapon.
They were sentenced by the Honorable John McCabe. Upon completion of their sentences, both men will be placed on a period of five years of supervised release.
According to the government’s evidence, the first attack took place on the afternoon of Sept. 7, 2013. Two sisters - ages 18 and 14 - were returning to the apartment building where they lived with their parents on 14th Street NW, in the Columbia Heights neighborhood, after spending the day together. Buskey and Simms followed them into their secure building after they opened the door with an access key. Buskey and Simms, who were strangers to the sisters, then followed them onto the elevator. When the elevator opened at the floor where the sisters lived, Buskey and Simms blocked them from getting out. Buskey pulled out what appeared to be a can of pepper spray and also threatened to stab the sisters unless they turned over their jewelry.
Buskey and Simms grabbed chains from their victims’ necks while the sisters screamed. Buskey and Simms then robbed the sisters of their rings and bracelets. When the elevator reached the ground floor, Buskey and Simms fled the building from a side door.
The second attack took place on the morning of Sept. 16, 2013. A man was returning to his rowhouse on Warder Street NW after getting breakfast at a local restaurant. He brought his bicycle into the basement level of the rowhouse, leaving the front door ajar. Buskey and Simms entered the building through the open door. Buskey grabbed the victim’s hands, put them behind the victim’s back, and made him lie down on the floor. Buskey then put his hands around the victim’s mouth and pointed a knife to his neck. Simms, meanwhile, went through the victim’s pockets and clothes while Buskey held the victim down.
Buskey and Simms kicked the victim, and Simms took two cell phones, $5, and keys from the victim’s pockets. Buskey grabbed the keys while Simms took over holding the victim down with a knife to the victim’s neck. Buskey then forced his way into another room in the basement, where two additional people lived. These people were asleep when Buskey forced entry into the room. Buskey, armed with a knife, commanded one of the victims to come to the door, and when the victim complied, Buskey snatched a chain from the victim’s neck.
Buskey and Simms sold the proceeds of both offenses to a pawn shop in Maryland.
In announcing the sentence, U.S. Attorney Machen commended the work of the detectives, officers, and crime scene technicians who investigated the case for the Metropolitan Police Department. He also commended the efforts of those who worked on the case from the U.S. Attorney’s Office, including Criminal Investigator Nelson Rhone; Litigation Support Specialist Ron Royal; Paralegal Specialist Debra McPherson, and Victim/Witness Advocate Elsa Resendiz. Finally he thanked Assistant U.S. Attorneys Michelle Parikh and Natalia Medina, who investigated and prosecuted the case.14-218