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Man gets 15 years for armed robberies

Greenbelt, MD – U.S. District Judge Theodore D. Chuang sentenced Demetrius Darrius Rasberry, age 36, of Lanham, Maryland, to 15 years in prison, followed by five years of supervised release, for the robbery of a convenience store and for using, carrying, brandishing, and discharging a firearm during the robbery.  Rasberry also committed two other armed robberies in Prince George’s County.  Judge Chuang ordered that Rasberry pay restitution in the full amount of the loss.

The sentence was announced by United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Robert K. Hur; Special Agent in Charge Gordon B. Johnson of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Baltimore Field Office; and Chief Henry P. Stawinski III of the Prince George’s County Police Department.

According to his plea agreement, on April 7, 2017, Rasberry entered a convenience store in Lanham, Maryland, pointed a semiautomatic handgun at an employee and demanded that the employee open the cash drawer.  Rasberry then went behind the counter, ordered the employee to the ground and stole $148.42.  After putting the money into a bag, Rasberry jumped over the counter and exited the store.  As he was leaving, Rasberry turned and fired two shots into the store, then ran away.

According to Rasberry’s plea and other court documents, on April 8, 2017, Rasberry and co-conspirator Jose Orlando Johnson robbed two liquor stores in Forestville and Camp Springs, Maryland, respectively.  In each robbery, Johnson drove to the location and waited outside while Rasberry entered the store and robbed the employee at gunpoint.  At the first liquor store, Rasberry stole $500 and two bottles of Hennessy cognac.  Rasberry then exited the store and got into the car driven by Johnson and the two drove away from the area.  In the second liquor store robbery, Johnson waited in the car at a gas station nearby while Rasberry entered the store and robbed the store employee at gunpoint.  At the second liquor store Rasberry stole approximately $1,080 and a bottle of Hennessy cognac packaged in a black and gold box.  Rasberry ran out of the store in the direction of the gas station where Johnson was waiting.  An officer who was in the area saw Rasberry fleeing toward the gas station.

Shortly after the robbery, officers canvassing the area located the car and could see two men in the front seats.  As they approached, Rasberry got out of the front passenger seat and attempted to run away.  Rasberry was quickly apprehended near the vehicle and arrested.  Johnson was located in the driver seat and his 5-year-old daughter and 1-year-old son were also present in the vehicle.

Rasberry and Johnson were taken in custody.  Officers searched Rasberry and Johnson and recovered $993.81 from Rasberry and $954 from Johnson.  From the vehicle, officers recovered: a loaded black and silver Ruger P89 9mmx19 semiautomatic handgun, with one unfired cartridge in the chamber, and eight cartridges in the magazine (front passenger floorboard); a Hennessy cognac decorative box with bottle inside (front passenger floorboard); and two unopened bottles of Hennessy cognac.

Analysis performed by the Prince George’s County Firearms Examination Unit revealed that the shell casings recovered from the scene of the robbery at the convenience store were fired from the Ruger handgun recovered from the vehicle.

Johnson, age 26, of Suitland, Maryland, pleaded guilty to the liquor store robbery and is scheduled to be sentenced on August 29, 2018.

This case is part of Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), a program bringing together all levels of law enforcement and the communities they serve to reduce violent crime and make our neighborhoods safer for everyone.   Attorney General Jeff Sessions reinvigorated PSN in 2017 as part of the Department’s renewed focus on targeting violent criminals, directing all U.S. Attorney’s Offices to work in partnership with federal, state, local, and tribal law enforcement and the local community to develop effective, locally-based strategies to reduce violent crime.

United States Attorney Robert K. Hur commended the FBI and the Prince George’s County Police Department for their work in the investigation.  Mr. Hur thanked Assistant U.S. Attorneys Lindsay Eyler Kaplan and Timothy F. Hagan, who prosecuted the case.

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