Greenbelt, Maryland – U.S. District Judge Theodore D. Chuang has sentenced Israel Ramirez, age 29, of Burtonsville, Maryland, to 17 years in federal prison, followed by five years of supervised release, for an armed robbery of an armored truck, two armed bank robberies and the armed robbery of a convenience store. In each of the armed robberies, Ramirez discharged his weapon. Ramirez discharged his handgun multiple times in the bank robberies.
The sentence 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; Chief Marcus Jones of the Montgomery County Police Department; Chief Malik Aziz of the Prince George’s County Police Department; and Chief Russell E. Hamill III of the Laurel Police Department.
According to his guilty plea, on July 4, 2021 Ramirez committed the armed robbery of convenience store in Laurel, Maryland. During the robbery, Ramirez brandished a firearm, which he fired into a cigarette display behind the register when the employees had trouble opening the register. Ultimately, the employees were able to open the register and provided Ramirez with cash. On July 12th, Ramirez robbed the same store. An employee recognized Ramirez as the person that had robbed the store and discharged his weapon the week before. Ramirez kept his hand in his pocket and demanded that the employee open the register. The employee provided Ramirez with cash from the register and Ramirez left the store.
Later on July 12, 2021, Ramirez began following an armored truck that had recently conducted a cash drop/pickup at a nearby bank. The armored truck pulled into a shopping center and parked in front of a bank. The driver of the armored truck went into the bank for a pickup/drop off. Shortly thereafter, Ramirez pulled into the parking lot and parked near the armored truck. Ramirez got out of his car and adjusted the front and rear license plates, so they were folded up onto themselves, then watched as the driver left the bank with deposit bags and got into the armored truck. Ramirez followed as the armored truck driver pulled into another parking lot to conduct another pickup. Ramirez, brandishing a gun, approached the driver as he was leaving a business with the deposit bag. Ramirez demanded the bag, which the driver gave him. Ramirez demanded that the driver give him the earlier deposit bags, but the driver said he could not get back into the armored truck. As Ramirez returned to his car, the driver attempted to get into the driver’s side of the armored truck and Ramirez aimed his gun in the direction of the driver and the armored truck and fired one shot. Ramirez then fled with the cash he stole from the driver.
On November 4, 2021 and December 3, 2021, Ramirez robbed two banks in Silver Spring, Maryland. In each robbery, Ramirez brandished a gun, which he fired after entering the bank, and demanded that the bank employees give him $10,000. In the first robbery, after receiving money from an employee, Ramirez walked toward the exit and fired his gun into a wall as he left the bank. In the second bank robbery, Ramirez fired multiple shots into the ceiling of the bank before demanding cash.
During the second robbery, a bank employee saw Ramirez pull down his mask and recognized him as a frequent customer of the bank. A search warrant was executed at Ramirez’s residence that same day. Law enforcement recovered a black 9mm handgun that matched the description of the gun used by Ramirez during the robberies. Shell casings recovered from each of the robberies were also identified as coming from that gun, which was registered to Ramirez.
This case was made possible by investigative leads generated from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives’ (“ATF”) National Integrated Ballistic Information Network (“NIBIN”). NIBIN is the only national network that allows for the capture and comparison of ballistic evidence to aid in solving and preventing violent crimes involving firearms. NIBIN is a proven investigative and intelligence tool that can link firearms from multiple crime scenes, allowing law enforcement to quickly disrupt shooting cycles. For more information on NIBIN, visit https://www.atf.gov/firearms/national-integrated-ballistic-information-network-nibin.
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 Prince George’s Police Department, the Montgomery County Police Department, and the Laurel Police Department for their work in the investigation. Mr. Barron thanked Assistant U.S. Attorneys Joel Crespo and Caitlin Cottingham, who prosecuted 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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