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Press Release

Winchester Man Pleads Guilty to Armed Hobbs Act Robbery of Martin's Foods Pharmacy

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Western District of Virginia
Carl Morris II Robbed Winchester Pharmacy in January 2019; Discharged a Firearm During the Incident

Harrisonburg, VIRGINIA – A Winchester man, who in January 2019 committed an armed robbery at Martin's Foods in Winchester, Virginia, pleaded guilty today in U.S. District Court in Harrisonburg to a pair of related federal charges, United States Attorney Thomas T. Cullen announced.

“In our efforts to assist our state and local partners reduce violent crime, we have substantially increased the number of federal prosecutions for offenses involving firearms, including robbery,” U.S. Attorney Cullen stated today.  “We will continue to work closely with these partners to identify violent offenders in specific communities and put them in federal prison.”

Today in District Court, Carl William Morris II, 44, pleaded guilty to one count of Armed, Hobbs Act Robbery and one count of discharging a firearm during and in relation to a crime of violence.                                                                                                       

According to court documents, on January 18, 2019, Morris approached a pharmacy clerk at the cash register at Martin's Foods on Gateway Drive in Winchester. While the clerk was ringing up a purchase, Morris pulled a black handgun that was tucked in his waistband and directed the clerk to “give me all your pain meds.” The clerk complied with Morris’ demand and handed over multiple bottles of controlled substances, including Oxycontin valued at over $2,000.

The defendant took four bottles of the medication and fled the store. A second pharmacy clerk followed Morris out of the store and into the parking lot. Upon seeing the second clerk, Morris discharged his firearm in the clerk’s direction. The bullet did not strike the clerk. After firing his weapon, Morris fled into a nearby wooded area where he was tracked by a police canine and ultimately apprehended by law enforcement.

The investigation of the case was conducted by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives and the Frederick County Sheriff’s Office. Assistant United States Attorney Jeb Terrien is prosecuting the case for the United States.

Updated August 23, 2019

Violent Crime