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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Temple Hills Felon Convicted of Armed Robbery of a Pizza Hut in Bowie

Greenbelt, Maryland – A federal jury convicted Gary Warren Hancock, Jr., age 37, of Temple Hills, Maryland, today of robbery, brandishing a firearm during the robbery and being a felon in possession of a gun and ammunition.

The conviction was announced by United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Rod J. Rosenstein; Special Agent in Charge William P. McMullan of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives - Baltimore Field Division; Chief John Nesky of the Bowie Police Department; Chief Mark A. Magaw of the Prince George’s County Police Department; and Colonel William M. Pallozzi, Superintendent of the Maryland State Police.

According to evidence presented during the six day trial, on May 2, 2013, Hancock entered the Pizza Hut restaurant at 1290 Crain Highway NW, Bowie, Maryland, pointed a handgun at an employee and demanded the opening of a safe.  When the employee said he could not open the safe, Hancock demanded money from the cash register.  The employee complied.  Hancock fled on a motorcycle.

A Bowie City Police Department officer happened to be on patrol just outside the Pizza Hut at the time, and was alerted by witnesses to the robbery. The officer saw Hancock fleeing on the motorcycle and gave chase. After a pursuit, Hancock crashed the motorcycle and was arrested.  Law enforcement officers recovered the stolen money and a loaded firearm.

Hancock had previously been convicted of numerous felonies, including carjacking, kidnapping and attempted robbery, and was thus prohibited from possessing a firearm and ammunition.

Hancock faces a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison for the robbery; a mandatory minimum sentence of seven years in prison and a maximum of life in prison for using a firearm during the robbery; and a mandatory minimum sentence of 15 years and a maximum sentence of life in prison for being a felon in possession of a gun and ammunition.  U.S. District Judge George J. Hazel has scheduled sentencing for August 11, 2015 at 10:00 a.m.

United States Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein commended the ATF, Bowie and Prince George’s County Police Departments and the Maryland State Police for their work in the investigation.  Mr. Rosenstein thanked Assistant United States Attorneys Thomas M. Sullivan and Michael T. Packard, who are prosecuting the case.

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Updated May 5, 2015