Four Men Plead Guilty To The Armed Robbery Of Armored Truck Employees
Stole Over $79,000 and Attempted to Murder a Witness Who Called 911
Greenbelt, Maryland – Four men have pleaded guilty to the armed robbery of employees who were transporting money in an armored truck, and to brandishing a firearm during a crime of violence. Antonio Lamar Cooper, age 27, of Washington, D.C.; Maurice Lorenzo Foreman, age 22, of Oxon Hill, Maryland; and Eugene Robert Watkins, age 22, of Washington, D.C., pleaded guilty late yesterday, the day before they were scheduled to go to trial. Co-defendant Juwan Armarni Watkins, age 21, of Washington, D.C. pleaded guilty on December 29, 2014.
The guilty pleas were announced by United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Rod J. Rosenstein; Special Agent in Charge Stephen E. Vogt of the Federal Bureau of Investigation; Chief Mark A. Magaw of the Prince George’s County Police Department; Chief Cathy L. Lanier of the Metropolitan Police Department; and Prince George’s County State’s Attorney Angela D. Alsobrooks.
According to their plea agreements and court documents, on January 15, 2014 the defendants drove a stolen vehicle to a restaurant on Allentown Road in Morningside, Maryland. Outside the restaurant, two armored truck employees were transporting money from the restaurant. One of the defendants pointed a gun at an employee’s face, pushed her to the ground, placed his gun on the back of her head and took her gun. Another defendant pointed his gun at the second employee’s head and took his gun as well. The defendants, all or some of whom were wearing masks and brandishing firearms, robbed the employees of $72,106.54 in cash, $4,028.81 in checks, and personal property.
During their escape, a citizen who witnessed the robbery followed the defendants from the scene of the robbery, and called 911 while in pursuit. The defendants realized that the witness was following them and shot at the witness, hitting the windshield and body of the witness’ vehicle several times. During that shooting, the witness was struck in the face by glass and/or bullet fragments.
According to court documents, Prince George’s County Police officers pursued the defendants’ stolen vehicle into Washington, D.C. where the defendants got out of their vehicle and attempted to flee. With the assistance of a canine search initiated by Metropolitan Police officers, the defendants were subsequently arrested.
The defendants face a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison for interfering with interstate commerce by robbery; and a mandatory minimum of 10 years in prison, consecutive to any other sentence, and up to life in prison for using a firearm during the robbery. U.S. District Judge George Jarrod Hazel has scheduled sentencing for Cooper on March 16, 2015, at 9:30 a.m., for J. Watkins on March 20, 2015 at 1:30 p.m., for E. Watkins on April 28, 2015, and for Foreman on April 29, 2015, both at 9:30 a.m. All of the defendants remain detained.
United States Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein commended the FBI, Prince George’s County Police Department, Metropolitan Police Department and Prince George’s County State’s Attorney’s Office for their work in the investigation. Mr. Rosenstein thanked Assistant United States Attorneys Daniel C. Gardner, Michael T. Packard and William D. Moomau, who are prosecuting the case.