Two Armed Robbers Each Sentenced to 10 Years in Federal Prison
After the Robbery, the Defendants Led Police on a Chase on I-95 from Aberdeen to Havre de Grace
Baltimore, Maryland – U.S. District Judge Stephanie A. Gallagher sentenced Noland Rheubotton, age 57, of Baltimore, Maryland, yesterday to10 years in federal prison, followed by three years of supervised release, for an armed commercial robbery and for brandishing a firearm during a crime of violence.
On November 29, 2022, Judge Gallagher sentenced co-defendant James Featherstone, age 60, of Baltimore, to 10 years in federal prison, followed by five years of supervised release, for the same crime.
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, Baltimore Field Office; Chief Henry Trabert of the Aberdeen Police Department; and Chief Teresa Walter of the Havre de Grace Police Department.
According to their guilty pleas, on December 22, 2019, Rheubottom and Featherstone entered a gas station convenience store in Aberdeen, Maryland. The defendants brandished handguns and robbed the store of cash and lotter scratch-off tickets. Rheubottom and Featherstone also robbed a store employee of cash before they fled in a silver Toyota Corolla.
Aberdeen Police Department (“APD”) officers responding to the robbery spotted the silver Toyota Corolla. An APD officer attempted to detain the vehicle and occupants at gunpoint, but the vehicle fled and entered I-95. Police officers followed the vehicle and attempted to stop the vehicle while it was traveling on I-95. At one point, the vehicle swerved in attempt to strike one of the police vehicles. The suspect vehicle then exited I-95 and headed towards Havre de Grace. Havre de Grace police officers joined the pursuit. Ultimately, officers placed stop sticks in the roadway which deflated the Toyota’s tires. The defendants then drove the car into a police barricade and Rheubottom and Featherstone were taken into custody.
During the search of the Toyota Corolla, law enforcement officers recovered a Colt, .38 special revolver handgun, on the front passenger floorboard of the vehicle. A bag was also located in the vehicle, which contained Maryland lottery tickets, coin rolls, and loose cash. Law enforcement also recovered from the vehicle a Maryland driver’s license in Featherstone’s name, mail addressed to Featherstone, two cell phones, gloves, and a black hood.
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 gun violence, and to make our neighborhoods safer for everyone. On May 26, 2021, the Department launched a violent crime reduction strategy strengthening PSN based on these core principles: fostering trust and legitimacy in our communities, supporting community-based organizations that help prevent violence from occurring in the first place, setting focused and strategic enforcement priorities, and measuring the results.
United States Attorney Erek L. Barron commended the FBI, the Aberdeen Police Department, and the Havre de Grace Police Department for their work in the investigation. Mr. Barron thanked Assistant U.S. Attorney John W. Sippel, Jr, who prosecuted 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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