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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Three Time Robber Of Trucks Carrying Pharmaceuticals Exiled To 25 Years In Prison

Used Guns, and Caused Serious Injury to One Truck Driver;
Attempted to Rob a Fourth Truck



Greenbelt, Maryland – U.S. District Judge Roger W. Titus sentenced Robert Neil Sampson, age 53, of Lanham, Maryland, today to 25 years in prison followed by three years of supervised release for conspiring to commit robbery, robbery and using a firearm during a robbery.

The sentence was announced by United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Rod J. Rosenstein; Special Agent in Charge Antoinette V. Henry of the U.S. Food & Drug Administration, Office of Criminal Investigations; Special Agent in Charge Karl C. Colder of the Drug Enforcement Administration - Washington Field Division; Chief Mark A. Magaw of the Prince George’s County Police Department; and Douglas A. Middleton, Chief of the Henrico County (Virginia) Police Division.

According to his plea agreement, Sampson and others committed three armed robberies in 2012 of two courier companies, Accurate Courier Express (ACE) and The Courier Connection (TCC), and attempted a fourth robbery. Both companies had contracts with AmerisourceBergen Corporation (ABC) to transport pharmaceuticals from Glen Allen, Virginia to Landover, Maryland, and from Landover to other locations in Maryland and the Washington D.C. metropolitan area.

On May 29, 2012, an ACE driver transported an ABC shipment of pharmaceuticals from Glen Allen to Landover. After the driver backed the tractor trailer up to the cargo door of the facility, Sampson and a co-conspirator pulled up in a motor vehicle. The co-conspirator pointed a handgun at the driver and ordered him into the tractor cab. Sampson then entered the tractor cab. The driver was ordered into the sleeper portion of the tractor cab and told to put a pillow case over his head. The driver refused. Sampson and the co-conspirator threatened to shoot him, but then allowed the driver to run away. A short time later, Prince George’s County Police Department patrol units located the tractor trailer on Nicole Drive in Lanham. A subsequent inventory revealed that pharmaceuticals had been stolen.

On July 13th, as an ACE driver was driving a shipment of pharmaceuticals out of ABC’s distribution center in Glen Allen, Sampson and a group of co-conspirators used a number of vehicles to block the delivery truck approximately 300 feet from the front gate. Several co-conspirators, armed with handguns, removed the ACE driver from the cab of the vehicle, wounded the driver with a taser gun, zip-tied the driver’s hands and feet and rolled him down a steep embankment. The co-conspirators then drove off with the truck. Investigators later found the truck abandoned near the crime scene. Pharmaceuticals were missing. The driver of the truck sustained serious bodily injuries and was treated at a local hospital; he suffers from protracted impairment of the use of his hands.

On August 14, two ACE drivers were driving along 75th Avenue in Hyattsville, Maryland, to deliver a shipment of pharmaceuticals on behalf of ABC. Sampson and a co-conspirator suddenly blocked their path with a van. The co-conspirator leaped onto the running board of the passenger side of one of the trucks and attempted to force his way into the truck. The truck continued to travel down the street and the co-conspirator jumped off the truck. Sampson, who was wearing a hard hat, approached the driver’s side of the other truck, brandished a handgun, and attempted to get into the truck. Sampson was eventually thrown off the truck. Sampson’s DNA was found on a hard hat recovered from the scene. Sampson was treated for a wound at a hospital in Baltimore the next morning.

On August 31, an employee was moving a truck inside the TCC warehouse located in Hyattsville, when Sampson, who was wearing an orange construction vest, and two co-conspirators entered the warehouse. At least one of the three men produced a handgun and ordered the TCC driver out of the truck. The TCC driver complied and ran out of the facility. Sampson was later identified in security camera footage of the robbery.

A search warrant was executed in September of 2012 at Sampson’s residence, and law enforcement recovered some of the stolen pharmaceuticals, zip ties and an orange construction vest.

The total amount of loss from the robberies was between $250,000 and $400,000.

United States Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein commended the FDA – Office of Criminal Investigations; Richmond, Virginia and Washington, D.C. offices of the DEA; the Henrico County (Virginia) Police Division; and Prince George’s County Police Department for their work in the investigation. Mr. Rosenstein thanked Assistant United States Attorneys Arun G. Rao and Mara Zusman Greenberg, who prosecuted the case.

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Updated January 26, 2015