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Press Release

Woodbridge Resident Convicted of Robbery and Murder

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

ALEXANDRIA, Va. – Bernardo Eugene Ford, Jr., 26, of Woodbridge, was convicted yesterday by a federal jury on charges related to his robbery and murder of a drug dealer in Falls Church.

On Jan. 5, 2017, Ford was charged in an indictment with conspiracy, armed robbery of a drug dealer, and using firearms in committing that robbery. According to the evidence presented at trial, on Feb. 23, 2016, Ford and another person, his co-conspirator, went to the victim’s apartment located on the 23rd floor of the South Tower of Skyline Towers off Seminary Road in Falls Church, intending to rob him of his drugs and drug proceeds. When the drug dealer resisted, Ford and his co-conspirator shot him, first in the arm and then in the back as he attempted to flee, severing his spine. Ford and his co-conspirator then fled, leaving behind approximately $2400 in cash hidden in the drug dealer’s closet, but taking with them one of the victim’s iPhones.

Telephone records introduced by the prosecution showed Ford’s and the victim’s phones contacting the same cell phone tower minutes after the murder and approximately two miles away from the apartment. Ford’s Facebook records contained communications in which he discussed with two different persons his intention to rob drug dealers. Cartridge casings and bullets recovered from the apartment were fired from two different semi-automatic handguns, leading to the conclusion that two persons were involved in committing the crime.

Ford faces a mandatory minimum penalty of 10 years in prison and a maximum penalty of life in prison when he is sentenced on June 9, 2017. The maximum statutory sentence is prescribed by Congress and is provided here for informational purposes, as the sentencing of the defendant will be determined by the court based on the advisory Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.

Dana J. Boente, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia; Colonel Edwin C. Roessler Jr., Fairfax County Chief of Police; and Karl C. Colder, Special Agent in Charge for the Drug Enforcement Administration’s (DEA) Washington Field Division, made the announcement after the verdict was accepted by U.S. District Judge Gerald Bruce Lee. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Michael Rich and Carina Cuellar are prosecuting the case.

A copy of this press release may be found on the website of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Virginia. Related court documents and information may be found on the website of the District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia or on PACER by searching for Case No. 1:16-cr-149.

Updated March 16, 2017

Violent Crime