Prosecutors in both Prince George's and Montgomery counties have decided to drop armed robbery charges that they had filed against three area residents. In doing so, their cases will instead be consolidated and tried in federal court.
Among the three defendants, there are two men from Upper Marlboro. One is 19 and the other is 21. The third is a 19-year-old District Heights resident. Each is charged with having carried out a string of robberies in the two counties starting in late December and ending in early January.
The three men are alleged to have been responsible for robbing two Sunoco gas stations on Dec. 29, 2016. The first robbery occurred at the Myersville location and the second was at the Royal Farms location on Fingerboard Road close to Urbana.
For that crime, each of the suspects is facing a number of different charges including armed robbery, possession of a firearm in the commission of a violent crime, theft, assault in the first degree, reckless endangerment and marijuana possession. The third defendant was charged with conspiracy as well.
On Jan. 7, 2017, the men also allegedly robbed the Myersville McDonald's. Deputies were able to reportedly tie the three men to the previous gas station robberies because they were driving their red Dodge Charger on each occasion. In the latest robbery, officers discovered a silver-colored .22-caliber revolver, cash, a BB gun and at least 39.2 grams of marijuana upon searching their vehicle.
As for this case, each defendant was charged with third robbery, possession of a firearm in the commission of a violent crime, first-degree assault, theft, and armed robbery. The two Upper Marlboro residents were additionally charged with reckless endangerment. The District Heights defendant was charged with additional conspiracy and accessory charges as well.
The men were allegedly able to make off with $2,182 across all three robberies. The men are also suspected of having robbed another gas station in Upper Marlboro and Bethesda on December 27th and 29th respectively.
Now that the defendants' cases have been moved to federal court, they run the risk of being sentenced to longer terms if found guilty of the crimes they've been charged with. To avoid lengthy imprisonment in the federal prison system, they may elect to work closely with a Clinton, Maryland, federal crimes attorney to either craft a solid defense or otherwise try to work out a plea deal in their legal cases.
Source: The Frederick News-Post, "Frederick County armed robbery case headed to federal court," Kelsie Loos, June 13, 2017