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Press Release

Baltimore Man Exiled to 182 Years in Prison for Armed Robberies

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of Maryland
Like Many Baltimore Criminals Caught with a Gun, Repeat Offender Will Spend Rest of his Life in Federal Prison

Baltimore, Maryland – U.S. District Judge George L. Russell III sentenced Paul Chance, age 28, of Baltimore, today to 182 years in prison for conspiring to commit robbery, three counts of robbery, four counts of possessing and brandishing a firearm in furtherance of robbery, and being a felon in possession of a firearm.  Judge Russell also entered an order that Chance pay restitution of $19,011.

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; Chief James W. Johnson of the Baltimore County Police Department; Baltimore County State’s Attorney Scott Shellenberger; Interim Commissioner Kevin Davis of the Baltimore Police Department; Baltimore City State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby; Anne Arundel County Police Chief Tim Altomare; and Anne Arundel County State’s Attorney Wes Adams.

“Paul Chance will spend the rest of his life in federal prison, and many other Baltimore criminals who are caught with a gun will join him,” said U.S. Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein. “The defendant’s first adult conviction was for armed robbery at age 18, and he only stopped committing armed robberies when he was behind bars.”

According to evidence presented during his six day trial, on March 29, 2013, Chance and co-defendant Sharmaine Diggs brandished semi-automatic handguns at the owner of the Ashland Café on York Road in Cockeysville, Maryland.  They forced the owner inside his business and bound his hands with duct tape.  They threatened to shoot him if he did not provide money, and pistol-whipped him.  The defendants took $4,000 and a .45 caliber weapon that was in the kitchen safe, and another $15,000 from a downstairs safe.  The robbers then forced the owner into the walk-in freezer, and left.

According to trial testimony, Chance, armed with a firearm, also robbed the following businesses: Pizza Hut on Annapolis Road in Severn, Maryland on April 7, 2013; the Hobbit Liquor Store on Bowleys Lane in Baltimore on April 26, 2013; and attempted to rob the Olive Garden on Perry Hall Boulevard in Baltimore on April 29, 2013.  The jury also found that on April 19, 2013, Chance possessed a semi-automatic rifle and a pump action shotgun.  Because of a prior felony conviction, Chance was prohibited from possessing a firearm.

Sharmaine Christopher Diggs, age 35, of Baltimore, previously pleaded guilty to his participation in the March 29, 2013 robbery, as well as an additional, subsequent attempt to rob the same cafe.  Judge Russell sentenced Diggs to 20 years in prison and entered an order that Diggs pay restitution of $19,000.

United States Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein commended the FBI, Baltimore City, Baltimore County and Anne Arundel County Police Departments and Baltimore City, Baltimore County and Anne Arundel County State’s Attorney’s Offices for their work in the investigation.  Mr. Rosenstein thanked Assistant United States Attorneys Bonnie S. Greenberg and Patricia C. McLane, who prosecuted the case.

Updated August 24, 2015

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