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Press Release

Serial Robber Pleads Guilty

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

Robbed Seven Businesses and Employees; Attempted to Rob a Take-Out Restaurant

Greenbelt, Maryland – Duane James, age 53, of Germantown, Maryland pleaded guilty today to five counts of robbery.

The guilty plea was announced by United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Rod J. Rosenstein; Acting Special Agent in Charge William P. McMullan of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives - Baltimore Field Division; and Chief J. Thomas Manger of the Montgomery County Police Department.

According to his plea agreement, on seven occasions from January 21 to February 17, 2013, James robbed Maryland businesses and their employees, each time wearing a ski mask and pointing what appeared to be a gun at the store clerks. In Silver Spring, James stole $50 and $10,000 worth of jewelry at The Gold Spot store; $110 from the store register and $100 from the clerk’s wallet at the AT&T store; and $3,000 from the cash drawer and lottery proceeds at the Bel Pre Beer & Wine store. In Rockville, James stole $1,500 from the register at the Shell Gas Station. In Gaithersburg, James stole $400 from the store register and $5 from the clerk at the Walnut Hill Liberty Gas Station; $300 from the cash register and $200 from the clerk at Twinbrook Shell Gas Station; and $1,043 from the register and cigarettes at the Exxon Gas Station.

Also, on February 17, 2013 and prior to robbing the Exxon gas station that same day, James pointed what appeared to be a gun at a clerk at a take-out restaurant in Gaithersburg, demanding cash from the register. The clerk did not move or open the drawer. James left the store.

James faces a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison and a fine of $250,000 for each of the five counts robbery. Chief U.S. District Judge Deborah K. Chasanow scheduled sentencing for July 14, 2014 at 10:00 a.m.

United States Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein praised the ATF and Montgomery County Police Department for their work in the investigation. Mr. Rosenstein thanked Assistant U.S. Attorney Mara Zusman Greenberg and Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Jennifer R. Sykes, who are prosecuting the case.

Updated January 26, 2015