Saturday, December 10, 2011

Five-Time Baltimore Felon Exiled to 19 Years in Prison on Gun Charges Stemming from an Attempted Armed Robbery

BALTIMORE—U.S. District Judge James K. Bredar sentenced McKenzie White, age 37, of Baltimore, Maryland, today to 19 years in prison, followed by five years of supervised release, for being a felon in possession of a firearm. Judge Bredar enhanced White’s sentence upon finding that he is an armed career criminal, based on five previous convictions—two for armed robbery and three for drug distribution.

The sentence was announced by United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Rod J. Rosenstein; Special Agent in Charge Richard A. McFeely of the Federal Bureau of Investigation; Baltimore Police Commissioner Frederick H. Bealefeld III; and Baltimore City State’s Attorney Gregg L. Bernstein.

According to White’s plea agreement, on September 10, 2010, White and two co-conspirators attempted to rob a victim at gunpoint. According to the plea agreement, the victim had been communicating with a co-conspirator over the Internet earlier in the evening and arrived at a home in the 1200 block of Druid Hill Avenue at approximately 2:50 a.m. Another co-conspirator, who had been sitting on the steps of the building, followed the victim and the first co-conspirator into the building. As they entered the building, White emerged from behind a stairwell carrying a 7.62 caliber semi-automatic rifle and announced the robbery. The co-conspirators went through the victim’s pockets, removing two cell phones, and tied the victim’s hands behind his back.

Afraid for his life, the victim falsely told White that his father lived nearby on McCulloh Street and had money in his house. In fact, the victim’s father did not live nearby. White agreed to walk with the victim to McCulloh Street and had the co-conspirator untie the victim’s hands, so they would not be conspicuous. As White, his co-conspirators and the victim walked up the street, White threatened to shoot the victim if he did “anything stupid.” The victim asked for his cell phone to call his father to open the door for them. While on the phone with his father, the victim stated, “I’m on the 1700 block of McCulloh. I need to get my stuff.” The victim’s father, sensing a problem, called 911 and police units were dispatched to the area. The victim told White that his father’s house was next to a house where several people were on the front porch, at which point White and his co-conspirators ran away.

Based on a description provided by the victim, police located White running south on McCulloh, carrying the assault rifle wrapped in a burgundy hooded sweat shirt. Police followed and saw White throw the gun and sweat shirt down outside 1214 Druid Hill Avenue and run inside. One officer stayed with the gun and another followed White into the building. Based on information provided by witnesses, White was located in an apartment in the building, in bed, sweating profusely and breathing heavily, pretending to be asleep. White was subsequently identified by the victim in a photo array as the person who attempted to rob him.

United States Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein commended the FBI, Baltimore Police Department and Baltimore City State’s Attorney’s Office for their work in this investigation and thanked Assistant United States Attorney Benjamin Block, who prosecuted the case.

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