Baltimore Serial Armed Robber Pleads Guilty to Robbing 35 Businesses and Brandishing a Firearm In Relation to a Violent Crime
Baltimore, Maryland – Darnell Gerald Gaither, Jr., age 27, of Baltimore, Maryland, pleaded guilty today to affecting commerce by robbery and brandishing a firearm in relation to a violent crime, specifically in relation to 35 armed robberies committed throughout Baltimore County, Maryland.
The guilty plea was announced by Acting United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Jonathan F. Lenzner; Special Agent in Charge Thomas J. Sobocinski of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Baltimore Field Office; Chief Melissa R. Hyatt of the Baltimore County Police Department, and Commissioner Michael Harrison of the Baltimore City Police Department.
According to his guilty plea, from December 2018 to November 24, 2019, Gaither committed at least 35 robberies throughout Maryland. In at least one robbery, Gaither brandished a firearm and in least five occasions, he robbed the stores while partially revealing a handgun. In all other robberies, Gaither passed notes to an employee that stated he possessed a gun.
Specifically, on October 25, 2019, Gaither robbed a Baltimore, Maryland smoothie franchise by entering the store and handing the cashier a note that read “I have a gun give me all the cash”. When the cashier refused to open the register, Gaither produced a handgun. The victim reported that Gaither stated that he would kill the victim if she did not open the register. The cashier opened the register and Gaither then ordered the cashier and two other employees to the floor while he removed the cash from the register. Gaither then proceeded to order three employees to open the safe in a back area and hand him additional cash. Gaither took funds from the franchise and fled the store.
Five days later on October 30, 2019, Gaither robbed a Baltimore, Maryland general store by posing as a customer. After approaching the register with a bag of candy, Gaither handed the cashier a note that stated, “You know what it is”, while displaying what appeared to be a handgun inside his waistband. The cashier believed that Gaither possessed a real firearm and feared for her safety. The cashier handed $197 in U.S. currency to Gaither, who then fled the store.
The stores Gaither robbed included fast-food restaurants, general stores, cell phone stores, gaming stores, a gym, and chain pharmacies. Gaither robbed a number of the stores on more than one occasion.
The tellers, fearing for their personal safety, often provided Gaither with cash from their registers, ranging from a couple hundred dollars to $1,900.
Gaither faces a maximum of 20 years in prison for affecting commerce by robbery and a minimum seven years in federal prison for brandishing a firearm in furtherance of a violent crime followed by five years of supervised release. U.S. District Judge Deborah K. Chasanow has scheduled sentencing for December 6, 2021 at 9:30 a.m.
Acting United States Attorney Jonathan F. Lenzner commended the FBI, Baltimore County Police Department and the Baltimore City Police Department for their work in the investigation. Mr. Lenzner thanked Assistant U.S. Attorney Paul E. Budlow, who is prosecuting the case.
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