Serial Armed Robber Exiled to 30 Years in Prison
BALTIMORE, MD—U.S. District Judge George L. Russell, III sentenced John Joseph Wilson, age 54, of Dundalk, Maryland today to 30 years in prison followed by five years of supervised release for armed robbery of a bank and post office, and the use of a firearm during a robbery. Judge Russell also ordered Wilson to pay restitution of $48,818.01.
The sentence was announced by United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Rod J. Rosenstein; Special Agent in Charge Stephen E. Vogt of the Federal Bureau of Investigation; Postal Inspector in Charge Gary R. Barksdale of the U.S. Postal Inspection Service—Washington Division; Colonel Marcus L. Brown, Superintendent of the Maryland State Police; Chief James W. Johnson of the Baltimore County Police Department; Harford County Sheriff L. Jesse Bane; Commissioner Anthony W. Batts of the Baltimore Police Department; Baltimore City State’s Attorney Gregg L. Bernstein; Baltimore County State’s Attorney Scott Shellenberger; and Harford County State’s Attorney Joseph I. Cassilly.
“If we are serious about reducing gun crime, we need to be serious about sentencing armed criminals to long terms in prison,” said U.S. Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein. “Hopefully John Joseph Wilson has committed his last armed robbery.”
According to his plea agreement, from July 2010 to October 2013, Wilson robbed or attempted to rob: four banks on eight occasions, one post office on three occasions and a supermarket on two occasions. These robberies occurred primarily in Harford and Baltimore Counties, and total $49,046.17. In all but one robbery, Wilson pointed a firearm at an employee. During his final robbery, Wilson shot at a citizen who was chasing him.
Beginning on July 22, 2010, Wilson stole $6,883.50 from the Mars Supermarket located on Philadelphia Road in Baltimore, after pointing a semi-automatic handgun at a clerk and taking money from her cash drawer. Wilson returned to the same store on August 27, 2010 and robbed the same clerk with the same gun, stealing $6,064.01.
On September 30, 2010, Wilson pointed a pistol at a bank clerk and stole $8,297 from a cash drawer at Madison Square Federal Savings Bank in Fallston, Maryland. When Wilson returned to the bank on October 9th, the employees recognized him from the earlier robbery and refused to let him enter the bank. Wilson pointed a handgun at the employees before fleeing.
A couple years later, on November 5, 2012, Wilson used a short-barreled shotgun to steal $4,116.66 from the BB&T Bank in Fallston.
Wilson used the revolver or shotgun to steal $490 from the Benson Post Office on Connolly Road in Fallston on December 12, 2012; $8,684 from Sovereign Bank on Emmorton Road in Bel Air, Maryland on December 17, 2012; and $8,960 from the same Sovereign Bank on January 4, 2013.
Wilson returned to the same BB&T Bank in Fallston on February 4, 2013 and stole $930. This time, instead of displaying a gun, Wilson showed a bank clerk his cell phone to display his demands for “Large bills” and “no dye pack.”
On April 27, 2013, after initially being thwarted from entering the Sovereign Bank on Emmorton Road in Bel Air, Wilson returned to the Benson Post Office. Using a revolver, he forced a postal clerk to open a safe. He took $821 from the safe and cash drawers.
On September 6, 2013, Wilson stole $3,800 from the Liberty Federal Savings and Loan Association Bank on Belair Road in Bel Air, after pointing a gun at an employee.
Finally, on October 5, 2013, Wilson again robbed the Benson Post Office. When the postal clerk saw Wilson’s gun, she fled to a business next door. The proprietor of that business chased Wilson, who turned and fired one shot toward the proprietor before fleeing away from the area. Postal Inspectors and Maryland State Police processed the crime scene at the Benson Post Office and developed evidence that assisted in the identification of Wilson as a suspect.
Wilson was arrested on October 9, 2013. The revolver and shotgun used in all but one of the robberies were recovered.
United States Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein commended the FBI, U.S. Postal Inspection Service, Maryland State Police, Baltimore County Police Department, Harford County Sheriff’s Office, Baltimore Police Department and the Baltimore City, County and Harford County State’s Attorney’s Offices for their work in the investigation. Mr. Rosenstein thanked Assistant United States Attorney P. Michael Cunningham, who prosecuted the case.