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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Eastern District of Pennsylvania

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, March 11, 2020

Philadelphia Man Sentenced to 56 Years in Prison for Armed Robbery Spree and Related Gun Crimes

PHILADELPHIA – United States Attorney William M. McSwain announced that Lukeen Gerald, 31, of Philadelphia, PA, was sentenced to 56 years’ imprisonment by United States District Court Judge Petrese B. Tucker for a series of armed robberies in Philadelphia. The Court further ordered the defendant to serve three years’ supervised release and to pay $4,330 in restitution and a special assessment of $1,500.

The defendant committed a staggering seven armed robberies of convenience stores and a bar in Philadelphia over a four-week period in early 2015. During each robbery, Gerald brandished a gun and wore a mask. In one armed robbery of a Dunkin Donuts, he accused the store employee of moving too slowly in handing over the store’s cash and fired his gun in anger.

Gerald was arrested after his seventh robbery when his car was stopped by Philadelphia Police officers. Following his arrest, the police recovered a shotgun, ski mask, and cash from his car. After receiving his Miranda warnings, not only did the defendant admit he committed the robberies, but also he described each robbery in detail and told law enforcement where they could find evidence linking him to his crimes. The defendant has previously been convicted of a felony and therefore was prohibited by law from possessing a firearm. After a five-day trial, he was convicted on all 15 counts of the federal Indictment.

“Gerald and criminals like him selfishly engage in violent acts that cause harm to innocent small business owners, their employees, and our community as a whole,” said U.S. Attorney McSwain. “Showing total disregard for the lives and property of others, Gerald terrorized people who were simply trying to earn an honest living. These law-abiding residents deserve protection, and my Office is working tirelessly to make sure that they have it.”

“Lukeen Gerald is a vicious and violent offender whose armed robbery spree left his victims traumatized,” said Tara A. McMahon, Acting Special Agent in Charge of the FBI’s Philadelphia Division. “In the course of a month, he targeted seven different establishments, and history suggests he’d have kept at it, had he not been stopped by the Philadelphia Police Department. Know that the FBI and PPD are working together every day to make this city safer by putting criminals like Gerald behind bars.”

“The investigation, arrest, and successful prosecution of Lukeen Gerald is further evidence of the merits of a collaborative approach to combating violent crime,” said Danielle Outlaw, Philadelphia Police Department Commissioner. “We are privileged to have worked alongside our law enforcement partners in securing the conviction, and anticipate that the attendant sentencing will have an appreciable effect on the safety of the community we serve.”

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 and the Philadelphia Police Department, and is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Sarah Damiani and Roberta Benjamin.

Topic(s): 
Project Safe Neighborhoods
Contact: 
MICHAEL CAVACINI Media Contact 215-861-8300
Updated March 11, 2020