Baltimore, Maryland – A federal jury convicted Keith Poynter, Jr., age 29, of Baltimore, Maryland, yesterday on federal charges related to a series of armed commercial robberies, all committed in one day, and for discharging his weapon during one of the robberies.
The conviction 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, Baltimore Field Office; Commissioner Michael Harrison of the Baltimore Police Department; and Chief Robert McCullough of the Baltimore County Police Department.
According to court documents and evidence presented during his four-day trial, Poynter conspired with others, including Benjamin Bunn, Jr. and Tiffany Gardner, to rob businesses in Baltimore City and Baltimore County. Specifically, on December 6, 2019, Poynter and another man robbed a jewelry store in the 200 block of N. Howard Street. The evidence showed that the other robber placed a machete in the door to prevent it from locking. Poynter brandished a weapon and struck a glass countertop, causing the gun to fire. Poynter then fired two more shots into another glass case and removed jewelry and other merchandise, all in the presence of store employees. Poynter and the other man then got into a silver Acura TL, which was occupied and operated by Bunn and Gardner and left the area.
According to trial testimony, a short time later, Poynter entered a jewelry store in the Security Square Mall in Baltimore County. Poynter approached a store employee, brandished a handgun and demanded jewelry. After taking the jewelry, Poynter left the store and got back into the silver Acura TL, where Bunn and Gardner waited. The group then left the area. Approximately two hours later, Poynter entered a pawn shop in the 6600 block of Reisterstown Road, brandished a firearm, demanded jewelry and threatened to shoot a customer. Poynter took jewelry and other merchandise and left the store, again entering the silver Acura TL where Bunn and Gardner waited.
Poynter faces a maximum sentence of 20 years in federal prison for the robbery conspiracy, for each count of three counts of commercial robbery and for conspiracy to use a firearm in furtherance of a crime of violence. Poynter faces a mandatory minimum of seven years and up to life in prison for each of two counts of using and brandishing a firearm during and in relation to a crime of violence; and a mandatory minimum of 10 years and up to life in federal prison for discharging a firearm during and in relation to a crime of violence. U.S. District Judge Stephanie A. Gallagher has not yet scheduled sentencing for Poynter.
Benjamin Bunn, Jr., age 37, of Baltimore, pleaded guilty to his role in the robberies a few days before trial began and is scheduled to be sentenced on July 13, 2023. Tiffany Gardner, age 27, of Baltimore, also pleaded guilty and was sentenced to five years in federal prison.
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, the Baltimore Police Department and the Baltimore County Police Department for their work in the investigation. Mr. Barron thanked Assistant U.S. Attorney John W. Sippel, Jr. and Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Mark Meehan, who are 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 https://www.justice.gov/usao-md/project-safe-neighborhoods-psn and https://www.justice.gov/usao-md/community-outreach.
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