Saturday, August 18, 2012

Baltimore Armed Career Criminal Exiled to 27 Years in Prison on Robbery and Gun Charges

BALTIMORE—U.S. District Judge Benson E. Legg sentenced Curtis Allen Thomas, age 44, of Baltimore, today to 27 years in prison, followed by three years of supervised release, for robbery, possessing a firearm in furtherance of a violent crime, and being a felon in possession of a gun and ammunition. Judge Legg enhanced Thomas’ sentence upon finding that he is an armed career criminal based on eight previous convictions for armed robbery.

The sentence was announced by United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Rod J. Rosenstein; Acting Special Agent in Charge Phil Phillips of the Federal Bureau of Investigation; Acting Commissioner Anthony Barksdale of the Baltimore City Police Department; and Baltimore City State’s Attorney Gregg L. Bernstein.

According to evidence presented at the four-day trial, on December 19, 2010, Thomas and an accomplice robbed Nephew’s Pizza Store in Baltimore at gunpoint. Thomas pointed a handgun at the employees as he entered the store and demanded money. His accomplice took approximately $500 from a pizza delivery driver.

Thomas forced the owner and three employees into a small office in the back of the store and onto their knees. The owner gave Thomas $50 from his pocket. Thomas demanded the owner’s wallet. Finding no money inside the wallet, Thomas threw the wallet to the ground. Thomas placed the loaded gun against the owner’s head, threatening to “blow” his “head off.” The owner and the other store employees fought Thomas, and, during the struggle, the owner was able to take the gun away. The defendant’s accomplice fled the scene.

Two store employees called 911. The owner and the store employees were finally able to subdue Thomas in the front of the store. Baltimore City Police officers arrived and arrested Thomas.

Thomas had previously been convicted of a felony and was prohibited from possessing a gun.

United States Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein commended the FBI, Baltimore City Police Department, and Baltimore City State’s Attorney’s Office for their work in this investigation. Mr. Rosenstein thanked Assistant United States Attorney James G. Warwick and Special Assistant United States Attorney Christine Duey of the U.S. Justice Department, Criminal Division, Human Rights and Special Prosecutions Section, who prosecuted the case.

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