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Press Release

Baltimore Felon Pleads Guilty to Committing a Series of Armed Commercial Robberies

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

Baltimore, Maryland – Joseph Dinkins, age 40, of Baltimore, Maryland, pleaded guilty today to committing an armed commercial robbery.  

The guilty plea was announced by United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Erek L. Barron; Special Agent in Charge Thomas J. Sobocinski of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (“FBI”), Baltimore Field Office; and Acting Commissioner Richard Worley of the Baltimore Police Department (“BPD”).

According to his guilty plea, on November 18, 2020, February 15, 2021, and February 17, 2021, the defendant committed four armed robberies or attempted armed robberies of Family Dollar stores, three of which occurred at the same store.  In each robbery, the defendant demanded cash from a store employee, showing or implying that he had a weapon, and left the store with the cash register. 

As detailed in the plea agreement, in the second robbery committed on February 17, 2021, when Dinkins pulled out a weapon and demanded money from the employee, the employee ran outside.  Dinkins then grabbed the entire cash register and left the store.  But when he got outside, the employee had told individuals outside that the store was being robbed and the individuals attacked Dinkins.  Aerial surveillance saw the fight and called for backup.  When BPD officers arrived, the Family Dollar employees informed them that Dinkins had robbed the store.  Several officers also recognized Dinkins as being wanted for a robbery committed at a different Family Dollar store earlier that day.

A subsequent review of the surveillance footage from all four robberies identified Dinkins as the individual in each video.

Dinkins and the government have agreed that, if the Court accepts the plea agreement, Dinkins will be sentenced to 100 months in federal prison.  U.S. District Judge Ellen L. Hollander has scheduled sentencing for November 28, 2023, at 10:00 a.m. 

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 gun violence, and to make our neighborhoods safer for everyone.  On May 26, 2021, the Department launched a violent crime reduction strategy strengthening PSN based on these core principles: fostering trust and legitimacy in our communities, supporting community-based organizations that help prevent violence from occurring in the first place, setting focused and strategic enforcement priorities, and measuring the results.

United States Attorney Erek L. Barron commended the FBI and the BPD for their work in the investigation.  Mr. Barron thanked Assistant U.S. Attorney John W. Sippel, Jr., who is prosecuting the case.

For more information on the Maryland U.S. Attorney’s Office, its priorities, and resources available to help the community, please visit and

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Marcia Lubin
(410) 209-4854

Updated August 22, 2023

Project Safe Neighborhoods
Violent Crime