Greenbelt, Maryland – U.S. District Judge Paul W. Grimm today sentenced George William Dodson, age 31, of Capitol Heights, Maryland, to 13 years in federal prison, followed by three years of supervised release, for conspiracy, two counts of commercial robbery, and for using, carrying, and brandishing a firearm during and in relation to a crime of violence. Judge Grimm also ordered Dodson to pay restitution in the full amount of the victims’ losses, which is at least $24,277.66.
The sentence was announced by United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Erek L. Barron; Special Agent in Charge Thomas J. Sobocinski of the Federal Bureau of Investigation; and Chief Malik Aziz of the Prince George’s County Police Department.
According to his guilty plea, on November 13, 2020, Dodson approached a private mail service delivery truck driven by his co-defendant. Prior to approaching the delivery truck, the co-defendant and Dodson had communicated regarding Dodson’s location and the two had discussed the co-defendant keeping particular products on her delivery truck. When Dodson approached the delivery truck, Dodson asked Victim 1, a seasonal employee for the mail delivery service, where phones and Xboxes were located in the vehicle. Dodson walked Victim 1 to the back of the vehicle where the co-defendant was located. Dodson removed a rifle-style firearm from his bag and pointed it at Victim 1. Dodson again asked for the location of the phones and gaming systems and threatened to shoot Victim 1. Dodson took a number of packages near where the co-defendant was standing and placed them into a black bag. Dodson then took the cellphones of Victim 1 and the co-defendant and threw them on the ground outside the truck and left the area. The stolen packages included two Apple iPhones and other items, worth approximately $11,700. That same afternoon, Dodson sold the stolen iPhones, and two other iPhones, through a co-conspirator for a total of $3,800. Dodson met the buyer and the co-conspirator at a gas station in Oxon Hill, Maryland to complete the transaction.
As detailed in his plea agreement, the next day, November 14, 2020, another co-conspirator entered a retail phone store and asked the three employees working behind the counter if they had iPhone 12s for sale. When the clerks confirmed that they did, Dodson then entered the business carrying an assault-style rifle. Dodson pointed the gun at the store employees (Victim 2, Victim 3, and Victim 4) and demanded that they give him iPhones and open the safe. Dodson and the co-conspirator forced the store employees into the back room where the safes were located. Victim 2 was told to open the safe and Victim 3 and Victim 4 were told to get on the ground. Dodson struck Victim 2 on the shoulder with the gun and told her to hurry up. Dodson took multiple phones from the safe and put them into an olive-green canvas bag, while the co-conspirator stood lookout at the door to the room. Dodson forced Victim 2 to get on the ground and finished loading the phones into his bag. Dodson and the co-conspirator left the store, got into a getaway car being driven by another co-conspirator, and drove away. The total value of the cellphones and electronic devices stolen from the retail store was approximately $12,527.66
One of the stolen phones contained a tracking device, which was activated. Law enforcement tracked the device to Oxon Hill and then to Virginia. Investigators stopped an individual who was carrying a black trash bag and recovered the cellphones and electronic devices stolen by Dodson. The individual said he had purchase the cellular and electronic devices from Dodson for $6,080 and had met Dodson in Oxon Hill to complete the transaction.
On January 28, 2021, at approximately 3:54 a.m. Dodson was found by law enforcement who were responding to a report of a man slumped over the wheel of a black Jaguar SUV in Hyattsville, Maryland. Dodson provided officers with a fraudulent driver’s license and the vehicle was found to have been reported stolen in Arlington County, Virginia. During a search of the vehicle, law enforcement seized a black Polymer 80 handgun, which is a privately manufactured firearm (PMF), with no serial number, also called a “ghost gun,” which was loaded with 16 rounds of ammunition. Dodson was later identified by a fingerprint scan.
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. PSN, an evidence-based program proven to be effective at reducing violent crime, is the centerpiece of the Department of Justice’s violent crime reduction efforts. 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 Erek L. Barron commended the FBI and the Prince George’s County Police Department for their work in the investigation. Mr. Barron thanked Assistant U.S. Attorney Rajeev R. Raghavan and Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Jared Engelking, who are prosecuting the case.
For more information on the Maryland U.S. Attorney’s Office, its priorities, and resources available to help the community, please visit https://www.justice.gov/usao-md/project-safe-neighborhoods-psnexile and https://www.justice.gov/usao-md/community-outreach.
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