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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, November 12, 2020

Baltimore Man Sentenced to 21 Years in Federal Prison for Five Bank Robberies, Five Armed Robberies of Liquor Stores, and Related Firearms Charges

Defendant Committed the Robberies in Less Than Three Months

Baltimore, Maryland – U.S. District Judge George L. Russell today sentenced Anthony Eugene Wiggins, age 40, of Baltimore, Maryland, to 21 years in federal prison, followed by five years of supervised release, for a string of robberies, and for violating his supervised release from a previous federal conviction.  Wiggins committed five bank robberies and five armed robberies at liquor stores, between September 24, 2018 and November 15, 2018, as well as an attempted robbery on November 15, 2018, all while on supervised release for a previous federal conviction for being a felon in possession of a firearm.    

The sentence was announced by United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Robert K. Hur; Special Agent in Charge Jennifer C. Boone of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Baltimore Field Office; Commissioner Michael Harrison of the Baltimore Police Department; Chief Melissa R. Hyatt of the Baltimore County Police Department; and Chief Charles Moore of the Bel Air Police Department.

“Anthony Wiggins was a walking crime spree, endangering the lives of employees and customers at the banks and liquor stores that he robbed,” said U.S. Attorney Robert K. Hur.  “As a convicted felon, Wiggins should not have been able to purchase a gun, but he was able to obtain a gun that had been assembled from firearm parts kits.  So-called ‘ghost guns’ circumvent the laws designed to prevent felons from possessing firearms because they have no serial numbers and do not require background checks.  We will continue working with our partners to keep guns out of the hands of people who cannot possess them lawfully.”

“Anthony Wiggins committed 10 armed robberies in less than 60 days,” said Jennifer C. Boone, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI Baltimore Field Office. “As a convicted felon, he should have never been in possession of a gun, but because ‘ghost guns’ have become so easy to obtain, the lives of customers and employees were put in danger. We hope today’s sentence sends a clear message that the FBI and our law enforcement partners will do everything in our power to bring these offenders to justice.”

According to his plea agreement, between September 24 and October 18, 2018, Wiggins committed robberies at five separate Maryland banks, including two banks in Baltimore, and one each in White Marsh, Bel Air, and Arbutus.  Wiggins was on federal supervised release at the time of the robberies, having previously been convicted for being a felon in possession of a firearm. 

As detailed in his plea agreement, between November 2 and November 15, 2018, Wiggins committed five armed robberies at four liquor stores in Dundalk, Middle River, and Baltimore, Maryland.  Wiggins admitted that he discharged a firearm in two of those robberies, specifically, a robbery in Dundalk on November 2, 2018 and a robbery in Baltimore on November 13, 2018, and brandished a firearm in the other three robberies.  Wiggins also attempted to rob a fifth liquor store, located in Dundalk, on November 15, 2018.  In nearly all of the robberies, Wiggins threatened victim employees with physical violence and, during one robbery, fought with and assaulted a store customer and a victim employee.

As stated in the plea agreement and other court documents, the gun discharged by Wiggins in two of the robberies was an untraceable “ghost gun,” which was assembled from a firearm parts kit and did not have a serial number.  These kits can be purchased from various kit manufacturers or secondary retailers, including Internet websites.  Crucially, convicted felons, who are prohibited from possessing firearms or ammunition as a result of their convictions, can order such firearm kits and assemble an untraceable working gun in the privacy of their homes in as little as one hour with minimal effort.

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 make our neighborhoods safer for everyone.  Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN) is the centerpiece of the Department of Justice’s violent crime reduction efforts.  PSN is an evidence-based program proven to be effective at reducing violent crime. Through PSN, a broad spectrum of stakeholders work together to identify the most pressing violent crime problems in the community and develop comprehensive solutions to address them. As part of this strategy, PSN focuses enforcement efforts on the most violent offenders and partners with locally based prevention and reentry programs for lasting reductions in crime.

United States Attorney Robert K. Hur commended the FBI, the Baltimore Police Department, the Baltimore County Police Department, and the Bel Air Police Department for their work in the investigation.  Mr. Hur thanked Assistant U.S. Attorneys Paul A. Riley and Mary W. Setzer, who prosecuted the case.

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Topic(s): 
Project Safe Neighborhoods
Firearms Offenses
Contact: 
Marcia Murphy (410) 209-4854
Updated November 12, 2020