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Press Release

Man Who Robbed Multiple New Castle County Tobacco Stores Sentenced to 53 Months in Federal Prison

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of Delaware

WILMINGTON, Del. – David C. Weiss, U.S. Attorney for the District of Delaware, announced that Donald Gladden, 57, of New Castle, Delaware, was sentenced last week to 53 months in prison for a string of tobacco store robberies committed during a 10-day crime spree.  At the time he committed these robberies, Mr. Gladden was on supervised release – a form of post-incarceration probation in the federal system – for an earlier series of robberies he committed in Maryland.  The Honorable Colm F. Connolly, Chief Judge of the U.S. District Court for the District of Delaware, pronounced the sentence, which included 12 months for the violation of Mr. Gladden’s supervised release and 41 months for the Hobbs Act robberies.

According to Court documents, Mr. Gladden committed robberies on May 27, May 31, and June 5, 2022, using a fake gun—that appeared to be real—to obtain cash and Newport cigarettes during each incident.  The total amount of cash and cigarettes taken exceeded $10,000.

U.S. Attorney Weiss stated, “Mr. Gladden’s use of a fake gun to commit these violent acts does not minimize the terror his victims suffered.  His sentence serves as a warning to others that my office will continue to seek stiff prison sentences for those, like Mr. Gladden, who prey upon Delaware citizens.”

“The FBI remains steadfast in routing out threats to the community in any form. The heinous acts of Mr. Gladden are not reduced by an inoperable firearm, as it inflicted the same level of fear to those in the community who expect to remain safe from harm,” said Acting Special Agent in Charge Ryeshia Holley of the FBI’s Baltimore Field Office. “The citizens of Delaware can rely on the continued collaborative efforts of law enforcement partners to maintain their public safety.”

This case was investigated by the Delaware State Police Robbery Unit out of Troop 2 in Bear, Delaware, and the FBI’s Delaware Violent Crime and Safe Streets Task Force.  Assistant U.S. Attorney Eli H. Klein prosecuted the case.

A copy of this press release is located on the website of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Delaware. Related court documents and information is located on the website of the District Court for the District of Delaware or on PACER by searching for Case No. 1:22-cr-096.

Updated November 27, 2023

Violent Crime