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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
District of Maryland

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, April 10, 2019

Laurel Man Sentenced to Over 15 Years in Federal Prison for Committing Five Armed Robberies Of Pharmacies in Howard, Anne Arundel, and Prince George’s Counties

Defendant and His Armed Co-Conspirator Stole Thousands of Dollars’ Worth of Opioids

Baltimore, Maryland – Chief U.S. District Judge James K. Bredar sentenced Arthur Raymond Prince, age 20, of Laurel Maryland, to 15 years and a month in federal prison, followed by five years of supervised release, for robbery of controlled substances, and for carrying and brandishing of a firearm during and in relation to a crime of violence, in connection with the armed robbery or attempted armed robbery of five pharmacies.  The sentence was imposed on April 9, 2019.

The sentence was announced by United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Robert K. Hur; Acting Special Agent in Charge Jennifer L. Moore of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Baltimore Field Office; Chief Henry P. Stawinski III of the Prince George’s County Police Department; Acting Annapolis Police Chief Paul Herman; Anne Arundel County Police Chief Tim Altomare; Acting Chief Russell E. Hamill, III of the Montgomery County Police Department; Chief Lisa Myers of the Howard County Police Department; and Anne Arundel County State’s Attorney Anne Colt Leitess.

“Prince and his co-defendant used guns to threaten pharmacy employees and steal tens of thousands of dollars’ worth of opioids and other prescription drugs,” said U.S. Attorney Robert K. Hur.  “Today’s sentence sends a strong message that if you use a gun to commit a federal crime, you will serve federal time, where there is no parole—ever.”

According their plea agreements, between May 5, and November 29, 2017, Prince and his co-conspirator, Jawanza Carter, participated in five armed robberies of pharmacies.  In each robbery, Carter pointed a gun at the clerk, and Prince and Carter demanded opioid narcotics such as Oxycodone, OxyContin, Percocet, and Codeine.  In most of the robberies, Prince and Carter also stole money from the cash register and/or robbed the clerk.

Specifically, Prince and Carter admitted that they robbed: the Howard Pharmacy in Columbia, Maryland on May 5, 2017; the Lorven Pharmacy in Laurel, Maryland on June 19, 2017; the Pasadena Pharmacy in Pasadena, Maryland on August 25, 2017; and the Annapolis Professional Pharmacy in Annapolis, Maryland on November 29, 2017.  Prince and Carter also attempted to rob the Pace Wellness Pharmacy in Pasadena on August 25, 2017, but were not able to steal narcotics when the clerk didn’t know where the drugs were located.  Instead, Prince and Carter stole $180 from the cash register and robbed the clerk of her purse, which contained $50 and credit cards, among other things.

In each robbery, cell-site records showed that Prince’s phone was in the immediate area of the pharmacy at the time of the robbery.  In addition, law enforcement recovered Carter’s fingerprints on one of the getaway vehicles used by the robbers.  Text messages between Carter and Prince concerning the robberies were also found on both Carter and Prince’s phones.  Photos recovered from Prince’s phone include images of Prince handling large amounts of cash, as well as photos and videos of Prince handling firearms.   

Prince was arrested after the robbery on November 29, 2017, in Odenton, Maryland, not far from where law enforcement located the stolen narcotics.  Carter was arrested later at the home of his girlfriend in Laurel, Maryland.

After his arrest and while he was detained, Prince attempted to obstruct justice.  After learning that his girlfriend was scheduled to testify before a federal grand jury, Prince coached her regarding her testimony, telling her in a recorded jail call, “you don’t know nothing, nobody, OK? Get that through your fxxxing skull.  Get that through your melon, OK?  Nada.”

Co-conspirator Jawanza Kevin Carter, of Laurel Maryland, pleaded guilty to robbery involving controlled substances, and to brandishing a firearm during and in relation to a crime of violence, in connection with the armed robberies of the five pharmacies.  Carter faces a maximum of 25 years in prison for robbery involving controlled substances; and a mandatory minimum of seven years and up to life in prison for brandishing of a firearm during and in relation to a crime of violence.  Chief U.S. District Judge James K. Bredar has scheduled Carter’s sentencing for August 21, 2019, at 2:30 p.m.

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 make our neighborhoods safer for everyone.  Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN) is the centerpiece of the Department of Justice’s violent crime reduction efforts.  PSN is an evidence-based program proven to be effective at reducing violent crime.  Through PSN, a broad spectrum of stakeholders work together to identify the most pressing violent crime problems in the community and develop comprehensive solutions to address them.  As part of this strategy, PSN focuses enforcement efforts on the most violent offenders and partners with locally based prevention and reentry programs for lasting reductions in crime.

United States Attorney Robert K. Hur commended the FBI, the Prince George’s County Police Department, the Annapolis Police Department, the Anne Arundel County Police Department, the Montgomery County Police Department, the Howard County Police Department, and the Anne Arundel County State’s Attorney’s Office for their work in the investigation.  Mr. Hur thanked Assistant U.S. Attorneys Paul A. Riley and Brandon K. Moore, who prosecuted the case.

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Topic(s): 
Opioids
Firearms Offenses
Project Safe Neighborhoods
Violent Crime
Component(s): 
Contact: 
Marcia Murphy (410) 209-4854
Updated April 10, 2019