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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Middle District of Pennsylvania

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Scranton Man And Virginia Man Plead Guilty To Firearms Charge In Connection With Armed Robbery Of Econo Lodge In Scranton

SCRANTON - The United States Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Pennsylvania announced today that a Scranton man and a Virginia man pleaded guilty in United States District Court in Scranton on October 18, 2016, before United States District Judge Malachy E. Mannion, to a firearms charge filed in connection with the armed robbery of the Econo Lodge located on Kane Street in Scranton, which occurred on February 13, 2016.

According to United States Attorney Bruce D. Brandler, Rodney Whiting, age 23, of Scranton, and Tracy Whiting, age 24, of Newport News, Virginia, admitted to the charge of brandishing a firearm in furtherance of a crime of violence.  Rodney Whiting and Tracy Whiting, along with Kelvin Robinson, age 24, also of Newport News, Virginia, and Kwa’shon Roane, age 24, of Gloucester, Virginia, were indicted by a grand jury in March 2016 for the armed robbery of the Econo Lodge.

The investigation was conducted by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF), the Scranton Police Department, the Pennsylvania State Police, the Lackawanna County District Attorney’s Office and numerous local law enforcement agencies, including the Taylor Borough and Moosic Borough Police Departments.  The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Robert J. O’Hara.

Kelvin Robinson previously pleaded guilty on October 5, 2016, to the charge of brandishing a firearm in furtherance of a crime of violence and is awaiting sentencing.

The charges against Kwa’shon Roane are still pending.  

This case was brought as part of the Violent Crime Reduction Partnership (“VCRP”), a district wide initiative to combat the spread of violent crime in the Middle District of Pennsylvania.  Led by the United States Attorney’s Office, the VCRP consists of federal, state and local law enforcement agencies whose mission is to locate, apprehend, and prosecute individuals who commit violent crimes.

A sentence following a finding of guilt is imposed by the Judge after consideration of the applicable federal sentencing statutes and the Federal Sentencing Guidelines.

Rodney Whiting and Tracy Whiting each face a mandatory penalty of at least seven years in prison for the charge of brandishing a firearm in furtherance of a crime of violence.

The maximum penalty under federal law is up to life in prison, a term of supervised release following imprisonment and a fine.   According to the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, the Judge is also required to consider and weigh a number of factors, including the nature, circumstances and seriousness of the offense; the history and characteristics of the defendant; and the need to punish the defendant, protect the public and provide for the defendant's educational, vocational and medical needs. For these reasons, the statutory maximum penalty for the offense is not an accurate indicator of the potential sentence for a specific defendant.

 

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Topic(s): 
Violent Crime
Updated October 19, 2016