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Press Release

Akron Man Sentenced to 25 Years in Prison for Armed Robbery, Carjacking and Illegal Possession of a Firearm

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Northern District of Ohio

Aaron J. Gaines, 39, of Akron, was sentenced on Wednesday, July 6, 2022, to 25 years in prison by U.S. District Judge James S. Gwin.  Judge Gwin pronounced the sentence following Gaines’ guilty plea to a seven-count indictment that charged him with robbery, carjacking and illegal possession of a firearm.

“This defendant committed a series of violent crimes, armed with a firearm, that put the lives of multiple innocent people in danger,” said First Assistant U.S. Attorney Michelle M. Baeppler.  “As evident by this lengthy sentence, violent crimes, particularly those committed while illegally possessing a firearm, will only result in a long time in federal prison.”

“Multiple criminal offenses combined with illegal possession of a firearm is a serious felony,” said Philip E. Frigm, Jr., Acting Special Agent in Charge, FBI Cleveland.  “The FBI is focused on identifying violent offenders and performing investigative work that ultimately results in justice. This sentence reflects our commitment with federal, state, and local partners to keep our communities safe and protect the American public.”

According to court documents, on January 25, 2021, Gaines entered a convenience store on Arlington Street in Akron, brandished a firearm and stole approximately $500 from the store’s lottery register.  Akron police officers responded and determined that Gaines had committed the robbery. 

Later that night, police officers responded to an Akron residence for a report of an armed robbery and felonious assault.  Upon arrival, officers learned that Gaines had brandished and discharged a firearm at an occupant of the residence in an attempt to steal a vehicle parked nearby.  The vehicle keys were stolen, but the vehicle remained.

After the attempted carjacking, police responded to the intersection of Fountain Street and Carroll Street for a report of a car theft.  Police interviewed the victims at the scene and established that Gaines had brandished a firearm and stole the victim’s vehicle.  Gaines crashed the vehicle soon after stealing it and then fled on foot.  Police recovered a firearm from the driver’s side floorboard of the car.

Gaines was later apprehended and pleaded guilty in March 2022 to interference with commerce by robbery, possession of a firearm in furtherance of a crime of violence, attempted carjacking, carjacking and felon in possession of a firearm.

Gaines is prohibited from possessing a firearm due to previous convictions of aggravated burglary and kidnapping in the Summit County Court of Common Pleas.

This case was investigated by the FBI and the Akron Police Department.  This case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Peter E. Daly and Toni Beth Schnellinger Feisthamel.



Daniel Ball

Updated March 5, 2024

Firearms Offenses
Violent Crime