Omaha Man Convicted of Robbery and Firearms Charges
Acting United States Attorney Robert C. Stuart announced that Preston Pope, age 27, of Omaha, Nebraska, was found guilty by a jury yesterday of robbery and firearms charges occurring in August 2015. The federal trial started November 14, 2017 in front of U.S. District Judge Laurie Smith Camp.
On August 11, 2015, at approximately 12:43 a.m., the Walgreen’s at 3001 Dodge Street was robbed by two masked men brandishing firearms. They held the cashier and a customer at gunpoint before leaving the store with over $500. At approximately 5:42 p.m. the same day, two people matching the same description robbed the U.S. Bank, inside the No Frills grocery store at 4240 South 50th Street, also covering their faces and brandishing firearms. After threatening the tellers, they left the bank with over $9,000. Later that day a vehicle that had been stolen the night before was found about two miles from the bank. Inside the vehicle was a fully loaded .40 caliber gun magazine.
On August 14, 2015, Omaha Police officers in the area of Miller Park, tried stopping a vehicle for having a broken taillight. The vehicle fled from the officers. Another officer stayed in the area and approximately a mile from the attempted traffic stop, noticed a man running through yards jumping fences. The officer was able to make contact with the subject. He was identified as Preston Pope. Officers traced the route Pope had taken and located a loaded .40 firearm off the side of the road that appeared to have been recently tossed there. The magazine and bullets found in the stolen vehicle on August 11 match the magazine and bullets found in the gun recovered on August 14. The gun also matched the gun used in the Walgreen’s and U.S. Bank robberies.
Officers got a search warrant for Pope’s brother’s house, where Pope had been staying. Inside the house officers located hundreds of dollars of new clothes, paid for in cash, and the box for the firearm found hours before. There was a vehicle in the driveway that had been purchased on August 13, for $2300.00 in cash, from Edwards Auto in Council Bluffs, by Pope’s sister. Officers went to Edwards and found that one of the $10 bills used to pay for the vehicle had been taken in the U.S. Bank robbery. When his sister didn’t have enough money for the vehicle, Pope gave her the difference. Further investigation led officers to discover Morris paid $2000.00 in cash for a vehicle from Edward’s Auto on August 12, 2015.
Forensic analysis was done on the stolen vehicle located August 11, 2015, and Jeron Morris’s DNA was found inside. Forensic analysis was done on the gun and it was found to contain Pope’s DNA. Pope is a convicted felon and as such is prohibited by law from possessing a firearm.
Pope was convicted of robbing the Walgreen’s, brandishing a firearm during that robbery, robbing the U.S. Bank, brandishing a firearm during that robbery and felon in possession of a firearm. Sentencing has been set for February 26, 2018. Each robbery charge carries up to 20 years imprisonment, the first brandishing charge is 7 years to life imprisonment, the second brandishing charge is 25 years to life and the felon in possession of a firearm is not more than 10 years imprisonment.
Morris previously pled guilty to robbing the U.S. Bank and brandishing a firearm. His sentencing is also set for February 26.
The case was investigated by the Omaha Police Department and the Federal Bureau of Investigation.