Conspirators Sentenced to Prison for the Robbery of an Owings Mills Jewelry Store Including Kidnapping and Brandishing a Gun
Baltimore, Maryland – U.S. District Judge J. Frederick Motz sentenced Aleksey Sosonko, age 35, of Owings Mills, Maryland, today to 14 years in prison, followed by five years of supervised release, for conspiracy, kidnapping, and brandishing a firearm in relation to a crime of violence, in connection with the robbery of a jewelry store, including a home invasion robbery, carjacking and kidnapping.
On May 12, 2016, Judge Motz sentenced co-conspirator Marat Yelizarov, age 27, of Pikesville, Maryland, to 18 years in prison, followed by five years of supervised release, for the same charges. Judge Motz also entered an order requiring Sosonko and Yelizarov to pay restitution of $500,000.
The sentences were 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; and Baltimore County State’s Attorney Scott Shellenberger.
According to their plea agreements, Sosonko and Yelizarov were part of a conspiracy, led by Marat Yelizarov’s brother, Stanislav “Steven” Yelizarov, to rob an Owings Mills jewelry store. In the course of the conspiracy, Sosonko and M. Yelizarove participated in an armed home invasion robbery designed to obtain firearms for use in the later robbery of the jewelry store.
Specifically, on July 22, 2012, S. Yelizarov, Sosonko, M.Yelizarov, and Grigory Zilberman robbed a home in Reisterstown, Maryland. Zilberman had been a guest in the home on a number of occasions and knew that the residents of the home owned firearms. After conducting surveillance of the home for several days prior to the robbery, at 2:30 a.m. on July 22, 2012, the conspirators, dressed all in black and wearing ski masks and latex gloves, entered the home through the garage door. S. Yelizarov was armed with a handgun when they entered the residence. The other three men grabbed long guns as they entered the home and carried them with them. A resident of the home was asleep when the four robbers entered his bedroom and woke him up, pointing guns at him and shining flashlights in his eyes. S. Yelizarov beat the resident when he tried to resist while M. Yelizarov tied up the resident with a belt and a cord. The robbers ransacked the home for about an hour, looking for firearms and other valuables. After the robbers left, the resident was able to free himself and call police. The resident was taken to the hospital for treatment of his injuries. Among the items stolen from the house were 10 long guns (rifles and shotguns), a crossbow, a laptop computer, and jewelry. Numerous electronic devices including computers and televisions were destroyed during the robbery. The value of the items stolen was approximately $10,000.
S. Yelizarov also devised a plan to commit the jewelry store robbery and recruited Sosonko, M. Yelizarov, Zilberman, Igor Yasinov, Peter Magnis, Sorhib Omonov and others to participate in the robbery. Prior to the robbery, the conspirators gathered intelligence, including conducting surveillance and attaching a GPS device to the car of an employee of the jewelry store in order to learn the employee’s travel routine and habits. Zilberman also exploited his friendship with the employee to obtain information about the operation of the jewelry store and the habits of the employee.
According to their plea agreements, on January 15, 2013, Zilberman enticed the employee to visit his home, in order to alert the other co-conspirators of the employee’s whereabouts. While the employee was at Zilberman’s home, the other conspirators met at Yelizarov’s residence to prepare for the kidnapping and robbery, including preparing the firearms and donning masks and gloves. Early in the morning on January 16, 2013, M. Yelizarov and Omonov followed the employee from Zilberman’s home and notified the other conspirators of the employee’s location so they could follow the employee. S. Yelizarov, Sosonko, Yasinov, and Magnis used a law enforcement-type light bar and a loudspeaker to impersonate a police officer and pull over the employee. Brandishing firearms which were supplied by S. Yelizarov, the conspirators removed the employee from his car, bound and blindfolded the employee, put him into the trunk of his own car, and drove him to a predetermined location. Once at the location, Sosonko, Yasinov, Magnis, and S. Yelizarov continued to brandish firearms and threatened to kill the employee’s family if he did not comply with their demands or if he reported the incident to police. The employee complied and at approximately 3:52 a.m., Sosonko and S. Yelizarov drove the employee’s vehicle from the remote location to the jewelry store. Yasinov and Magnis stayed with the employee. M. Yelizarov and Omonov were stationed near the jewelry store to act as look-outs. S. Yelizarov and Sosonko entered the jewelry store and stole jewelry, stones, and watches, valued at about $500,000, then drove back to the remote location. The employee was then placed back into the trunk of his car and driven to another location, where he was left. The employee was able to kick his way out of the trunk through the back seat of his car.
On January 18, 2013, S. Yelizarov sold a portion of the stolen jewelry for approximately $29,000 to an FBI informant. On January 19, 2013, S. Yelizarov traveled to Brooklyn, New York to sell some of the jewelry and stones taken during the robbery, receiving over $100,000. On January 21, 2013, he returned to Maryland and divided the cash proceeds among the members of the conspiracy and others. S. Yelizarov determined how much each participant received based on his perception of the risk and the conduct of each participant.
On January 25, 2013, S. Yelizarov was arrested in Buffalo, New York, on charges of federal misuse of a passport. From January 25 through February 2, 2013, S. Yelizarov placed calls directing M. Yelizarov, Sosonko, and others, to remove from his residence and dispose of evidence related to the jewelry store robbery, including cash from the sale of the jewelry, firearms used during the conspiracy, the law enforcement light bar, the GPS device, a laptop computer, and other evidence of the crimes.
Stanislav “Steven” Yelizarov, age 26, of Pikesville, Maryland, was sentenced to 30 years in prison, after he pleaded guilty to a robbery conspiracy, kidnapping, and brandishing a firearm in relation to a crime of violence. Peter Aleksandrov Magnis, age 28, of Hydes, Maryland, and Sorhib Omonov, age 27, of Baltimore, also pleaded guilty and were sentenced to seven years in prison and four years in prison, respectively. Judge Motz also entered an order requiring all of the sentenced defendants to pay restitution of $500,000. Grigoriy (Greg) Zilberman, age 25, of Owings Mills, Maryland; and Igor Yasinov, age 26, of Baltimore, previously pleaded guilty and are scheduled to be sentenced on May 20, 2016 at 10:30 and 11:00 a.m., respectively.
United States Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein praised the FBI, Baltimore County Police Department, and Baltimore County State’s Attorney’s Office for their work in the investigation. Mr. Rosenstein thanked Assistant United States Attorneys Paul E. Budlow and Aaron S. J. Zelinsky, who are prosecuting the case.