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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
District of Maryland

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Baltimore Man Admits to Robbing Three Stores at Gunpoint

Baltimore, Maryland – Howard Downey, age 33, of Baltimore, pleaded guilty today to robbing a store, and tampering with evidence in connection with the gun used in the robberies.

The sentence was announced by United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Rod J. Rosenstein; Special Agent in Charge Kevin Perkins of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Baltimore Field Office; Baltimore City State’s Attorney Marilyn J. Mosby; and Baltimore Police Commissioner Kevin Davis.

According to his plea agreement, on March 7, 2015, Downey robbed a store on East Monument Street in Baltimore.  Downey brandished a revolver at an employee, demanding money.  After the employee handed over money from two cash registers, Downey told the victim to hand over the store’s telephone and kneel down.  Downey fled to a van waiting outside.

On March 12 and 13, 2015, Downey used the revolver to rob two stores, one on Patapsco Avenue and the other on East Monument Street in Baltimore, respectively. 

Detectives recovered video footage of the March 7 and 12 robberies.  Downey is seen arriving and leaving the robbery scenes in a purple Dodge caravan.  Further investigation led detectives to Downey’s residence where they executed a search warrant on March 26.  They seized clothing that Downey wore during the robberies, and a phone used by Downey.  In text messages found on the phone, Downey referred to himself and a cohort/getaway driver as Bonnie and Clyde.

Downey was arrested on March 27, 2015 and confessed to the March 7 robbery.  He would not, however, reveal the identity of the driver of the van or the whereabouts of the gun used in the robberies. Subsequently, Downey was overheard on telephone calls from the Baltimore City jail conspiring to obstruct justice by hiding the gun he used in the robberies from law enforcement.  Downey instructed the co-conspirator to retrieve the gun from where it was hidden and get rid of it.  The next day, the co-conspirator reported to Downey via another recorded phone call that he took care of the gun.  Further investigation revealed that the co-conspirator had taken the gun to a friend’s home, where it was recovered by law enforcement pursuant to a search warrant.

Downey and the government have agreed that if the Court accepts the plea agreement, Downey will be sentenced to between 87 and 97 months in prison.  Chief U.S. District Judge Catherine C. Blake has scheduled sentencing for July 15, 2016 at 10:30 a.m. 

United States Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein commended the FBI, Baltimore Police Department and Baltimore City State’s Attorney's Office for their work in the investigation.  Mr. Rosenstein thanked Special Assistant United States Attorney Shelley S. Glenn, who is prosecuting the case.

Project Safe Neighborhoods
Updated March 22, 2016