Guilty Pleas In Series Of Rochester Armed Robberies
CONTACT: Barbara Burns
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ROCHESTER, N.Y. - U.S. Attorney James P. Kennedy, Jr. announced today that Damien Rutledge, 22, of Rochester, NY, pleaded guilty to his role in a series of five gunpoint commercial robberies that occurred in September, 2017 in Rochester, New York.
Rutledge pleaded guilty to five counts of committing or aiding and abetting Hobbs Act robbery in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 1951(a). Each robbery charge carries a maximum penalty of 20 years imprisonment and a $250,000 fine. Rutledge also pleaded guilty to aiding and abetting the possession of a firearm during a crime of violence that was discharged, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 924(c)(1)(A)(iii). That charge carries a mandatory minimum term of imprisonment of 10 years, which by law, must be served consecutively to any sentence imposed on the robbery counts. It also carries a maximum penalty of life imprisonment and a $250,000.00 fine.
The guilty pleas were entered before United States District Judge Elizabeth A. Wolford.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Sean C. Eldridge, who is handling the case, stated that during his pleas of guilty, Rutledge admitted his role in a series of gunpoint robberies that were committed at stores within the City of Rochester between September 3, 2017 and September 23, 2017:
• On September 3, 2017, during a gunpoint robbery of the Hudson Save More on Hudson Avenue, Rutledge, along with co-conspirators Jonathan Middlebrooks, Nasir Perez and Dylan Miller, removed approximately $1,420 from the store’s cash registers.
• On September 14, 2017, during a gunpoint robbery of the 18 Hour Store on North Goodman Street, Rutledge, along with co-conspirators Middlebrooks, Perez and Miller, removed approximately $500 from the store’s cash register, while co-conspirator Deborah Siegel-Edelman served as the getaway driver.
• On September 18, 2017, during a gunpoint robbery of the Four Star Market on Lake Avenue, Rutledge, along with co-conspirators Middlebrooks, Perez and Miller removed approximately $2,650 from the store’s cash register, while Siegel-Edelman served as the getaway driver.
• On September 23, 2017, during a gunpoint robbery of the Bronx Market on Brown Street, Rutledge, along with co-conspirators Middlebrooks, Perez and Miller removed approximately $900 from the store’s cash register, while defendant Siegel-Edelman served as the getaway driver.
• Also on September 23, 2017, Rutledge, Perez, Middlebrooks and Miller were driven to the Greyhound Express Mini Mart on Carter Street by Siegel-Edelman. Middlebrooks, Perez, Miller and Rutledge entered the store, a gun was pointed at the store owner, and after a struggle between the store owner and one the robbers, a store employee removed the robber’s gun from the robber’s hand. The store employee then pointed the gun at Middlebrooks, who put his hands up, but also moved forward towards the store employee. After Middlebrooks took several steps towards the employee, the employee fired the gun, and the discharged round hit Middlebrooks in the stomach. The co-conspirators then fled the scene of the attempted robbery.
Co-conspirators Middlebrooks, Miller, Perez and Siegel-Edelman have previously pleaded guilty to their roles in these robberies.
The guilty pleas by Rutledge are the result of an investigation by by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, under the direction of Special Agent-in-Charge Gary Loeffert, and the Rochester Area Major Crimes Task Force and the Rochester Police Department, under the direction of Chief Michael Ciminelli.
Sentencing is scheduled for November 29, 2018 at 3:00 pm before Judge Wolford.