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Press Release

Armed Robber Sentenced to 14 Years in Federal Prison for Committing Three Armed Robberies of North Philadelphia Businesses

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

PHILADELPHIA – United States Attorney Jennifer Arbittier Williams announced that Darrell Johnson, 36, of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, was sentenced to 14 years and one day of imprisonment by United States District Judge Wendy Beetlestone, after pleading guilty to committing three gunpoint robberies and brandishing a firearm during the course of his three-day crime spree in April 2017.

Each of Johnson’s crimes was captured on surveillance video from the stores he robbed, which ultimately enabled law enforcement to link the robberies back to the same assailant.  Johnson first robbed a 7-Eleven convenience store in the early morning hours of April 22, 2017. Video surveillance inside the store captured Johnson pointing a distinctive silver and black, 9mm semi-automatic pistol at store employees and demanding all the money in the store. Just a few hours after he robbed the 7-Eleven store, Johnson robbed a Dunkin Donuts restaurant, wearing the same clothing and pointing the same silver and black firearm at the employees and demanding money from the register. Just before entering Dunkin Donuts, the defendant was captured on surveillance video doing warm-up calisthenics and stretching exercises with the gun in his hand. On April 25, 2017, he was captured by Philadelphia Police in the act of robbing a Rite Aid pharmacy, again with a silver and black semi-automatic firearm. A later forensic examination of the firearm recovered at Rite Aid and a bullet recovered at the 7-Eleven crime scene definitively placed the gun at both robberies.

In December 2017, a grand jury issued a seven-count superseding indictment against the defendant, charging him with three counts of robbery which interferes with interstate commerce (Hobbs Act robbery); three counts of using, carrying, and brandishing a firearm during and in relation to a crime of violence; and one count of possessing a firearm as a convicted felon. In March 2020, the defendant pled guilty to 6 counts in the superseding indictment.

“This defendant was determined to commit armed robbery, so much so he did it three times in the span of only four days,” said U.S. Attorney Williams. “His complete disregard for others and for the law is appalling. Hopefully others will learn from this example: if you rob a business in Philadelphia with a firearm, you are going to face serious federal prison time as a result. Our Office is committed to being ‘All Hands On Deck’ working with our law enforcement partners to bring criminals to justice.”

"The FBI is committed to keeping the Philadelphia area and its citizens safe from predators like Darrell Johnson," said Jacqueline Maguire, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI's Philadelphia Division. "Today’s sentencing sends a message to violent criminals that if you terrorize our community, we will find you and bring you to justice."

This case is part of Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), a program bringing together all levels of law enforcement and the communities they serve to reduce violent crime and make our neighborhoods safer for everyone.   The Department of Justice reinvigorated PSN in 2017 as part of the Department’s renewed focus on targeting violent criminals, directing all U.S. Attorney’s Offices to work in partnership with federal, state, local, and tribal law enforcement and the local community to develop effective, locally-based strategies to reduce violent crime.

The case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, with assistance from the Philadelphia Police Department and is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Alison Donahue Kehner and Michael R. Miller.


615 Chestnut Street, Suite 1250
Philadelphia, PA 19106

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Updated December 1, 2021

Violent Crime