Leader of Conspiracy to Rob an Owings Mills Jewelry Store Sentenced to 30 Years in Prison
Also Committed a Kidnapping, a Home Invasion Robbery and Brandished a Gun
Baltimore, Maryland – U.S. District Judge J. Frederick Motz sentenced Stanislav “Steven” Yelizarov, age 26, of Pikesville, Maryland, today to 30 years in prison, followed by five years of supervised release, for a robbery conspiracy, kidnapping, and brandishing a firearm in relation to a crime of violence, in connection with the robbery of a jewelry store, including a carjacking and kidnapping. Judge Motz also entered an order requiring Yelizarov to pay restitution of $500,000.
The sentence was 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 his plea agreement, Yelizarov was the leader of a conspiracy to rob an Owings Mills jewelry store, and was also the leader of an armed home invasion robbery designed to obtain firearms, which were subsequently used in the robbery of the jewelry store.
Specifically, on July 22, 2012, Yelizarov, his brother MaratYelizarov, Aleksy Sosonko, and Grigory Zilberman robbed a home in Reisterstown, Maryland. Zilberman was familiar with the layout of the home, and knew that the residents owned firearms, having been there as a guest on a number of occasions. Zilberman had handled and fired some of the weapons. After conducting surveillance of the home for several days prior to the robbery, at 2:30 a.m. on July 22, 2012, S. Yelizarov, who was armed with a handgun, Sosonko, M. Yelizarov, and Zilberman traveled to the home in Reisterstown. Dressed all in black and wearing ski masks and latex gloves, the co-conspirators entered the home through the unlocked garage door. Sosonko, M. Yelizarov, and Zilberman grabbed long guns from the residence and carried them throughout the home. 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. For approximately one hour the robbers ransacked the home 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.
In the fall of 2012, Yelizarov devised a plan to commit an armed robbery of a jewelry store, known to be owned and operated by members of the Russian community of Northwest Baltimore. Yelizarov was the leader of the conspiracy and had final decision making authority over the execution of the scheme. Yelizarov recruited Zilberman, Sosonko, Igor Yasinov, Peter Magnis, M. Yelizarov, Sorhib Omonov, and others to participate in the robbery. In preparation for the robbery, on December 25, 2012, S. Yelizarov, Yasinov, and others committed a burglary of a residence in Baltimore, during which they stole a shotgun and semiautomatic handgun. The handgun was used in the robbery of the jewelry store on January 16, 2013. Prior to the robbery, the conspirators gathered intelligence, including conducting surveillance. S. Yelizarov purchased and attached 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 S. Yelizarov’s plea agreement, 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 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 driving in a rental car obtained by Yasinov, 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.
According to the plea agreement, once at the location, S. Yelizarov and the co-conspirators 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., S. Yelizarov and Sosonko drove the employee’s vehicle from the remote location to the jewelry store, while Yasinov and Magnis stayed with the employee, holding him bound and blindfolded at gunpoint. M. Yelizarov and Omonov were stationed near the jewelry store to act as “look-outs.” S. Yelizarov and Sosonko entered the store and stole jewelry, stones, and watches, valued at about $500,000, then drove back to the remote location. The employee was 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 federal misuse of passport charges. From January 25 through February 2, 2013, S. Yelizarov placed calls directing his brother, M. Yelizarov, 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.
Grigoriy (Greg) Zilberman, age 25, and Aleksey Sosonko, age 35, both of Owings Mills, Maryland; Igor Yasinov, age 26, of Baltimore; and Marat Yelizarov, age 27, of Pikesville, previously pleaded guilty to their roles in the robbery conspiracy and are awaiting sentencing. 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.
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 Attorney Paul E. Budlow and Aaron S. J. Zelinsky, who are prosecuting the case.