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Press Release

Crips Gang Member Sentenced to 11 Years in Federal Prison for Armed Robbery and Illegal Possession of a Firearm

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of Maryland

Baltimore, Maryland – U.S. District Judge George L. Russell, III sentenced Donte Powell, a/k/a “Rain,” age 29, of Washington, D.C. and Columbia, Maryland, on October 14, 2016, to 11 years in prison followed by three years of supervised release for robbery, and being a felon in possession of a firearm.  Powell is currently serving a 20-year state sentence for an unrelated armed robbery and Judge Russell ordered that the federal sentence was to be served consecutive that sentence.                   

The sentence was announced by United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Rod J. Rosenstein; Special Agent in Charge Daniel L. Board Jr. of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives - Baltimore Field Division; Chief Gary Gardner of the Howard County Police Department; Howard County State’s Attorney Dario Broccolino; and Chief Richard McLaughlin of the Laurel Police Department.

According to his plea agreement, Powell is a member of the Crips gang and is affiliated with the set called “Dogghouse Crips.”  Powell admitted that on January 21, 2014, he and co-defendant Avery Terry robbed the CVS Pharmacy in Elkridge, Maryland at gun point.  A store video camera recorded the robbery, including the distinctive clothing worn by the robbers.   Powell was armed with a black handgun.  Powell had a previous felony conviction and was prohibited from possessing a gun or ammunition.

On January 26, 2014, Howard County Police arrested Desmick Lewis in connection with a January 23, 2014 robbery and homicide.  At the time of his arrest, Lewis was in a car driven by Avery Terry.  Police recovered a black .38 caliber revolver, different from the gun used in the CVS robbery, from under the driver’s seat where Terry was sitting. 

A Howard County detective who was investigating the CVS robbery was also participating in the execution of the arrest warrant that day.  The detective noticed clothing in Terry’s car that matched the distinctive clothing worn by the Powell and Terry during the CVS robbery on January 21.  Law enforcement executed a search warrant at Terry’s home and recovered a mask and other clothing matching that worn by one of the CVS robbers.

Powell was arrested on February 3, 2014 in Laurel.  According to Laurel Police, an officer spotted a car without its lights on just after 1 a.m., traveling the wrong way on a one-way street.  When officers began pursuing the driver, they saw a naked man jump out of the passenger side of the car.  The driver crashed shortly thereafter, flipping the car. The naked man told police he was the victim of an armed robbery.  After Powell’s arrest, a loaded .40 caliber pistol was recovered from the car.  That gun was subsequently identified as the gun used in the CVS robbery.  Powell pleaded guilty to the armed robbery and was sentenced to 20 years in prison. While serving his sentence, Powell continued to state his allegiance to the Crips gang in recorded jail calls and in letters.

Subsequent investigation revealed Powell and Terry had additional knowledge of the January 23, 2014, robbery/homicide.  Evidence presented at the sentencing reflected that Powell, Terry, Lewis, and others involved in the robbery/homicide met after the murder and discussed what had happened.  Call records show that between January 21 and January 26, 2014, there were also frequent telephone communications between Powell, Terry, Lewis, and others involved in the robbery/homicide.

Avery Terry, age 23, of Laurel, Maryland, pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court to the robbery of the CVS Pharmacy on January 21, 2014, in Elkridge, Maryland, and to using and brandishing a firearm during that robbery.  In addition, Terry pleaded guilty to being an accessory after the fact to the January 23, 2014 robbery and murder.  Terry was sentenced to 181 months in prison. 

Desmick Lewis, age 24, of Columbia, pleaded guilty in Howard County Circuit Court to his role in the January 23, 2014 robbery and murder and was sentenced to life in prison

United States Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein commended the ATF, Howard County Police Department, Laurel Police Department, and Howard County State’s Attorney’s Office for their work in the investigation.  Mr. Rosenstein thanked Assistant United States Attorneys Sandra Wilkinson and Lauren E. Perry, who prosecuted the case.

Updated October 24, 2016

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