BALTIMORE, MD—Chief U.S. District Judge James K. Bredar on Monday sentenced Stewart Williams, 37, of Baltimore, to 77 months in federal prison, followed by three years of supervised release, for a federal robbery charge in connection with a series of four robberies of video game stores committed over a 12-day period. Judge Bredar previously sentenced co-defendant Kelvin McFadden, 27, also of Baltimore, to 51 months in prison, followed by three years of supervised release for the same charge. Williams and McFadden admitted that they brandished what appeared to be a firearm during each of the four robberies.
The sentences were announced by United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Robert K. Hur; Special Agent in Charge Timothy Jones of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) Baltimore Field Division; Commissioner Michael Harrison of the Baltimore Police Department; Chief Melissa R. Hyatt of the Baltimore County Police Department; and Interim Chief William Lowry of the Anne Arundel County Police Department.
According to their guilty pleas, between August 21, 2018 and September 1, 2018, Williams and McFadden robbed four video game stores, stealing electronic retail goods, such as video game systems, and cash. In each robbery Williams and McFadden entered the store, brandished what appeared to be a gun while accosting the victim employees, stole money from cash registers and/or safes, and forced the victim employees in the store’s “backroom” which contained the more expensive electronic goods, including video game systems, which they also stole. Each of the four robberies was captured on store security cameras.
Specifically, Williams and McFadden robbed: a store located in the 3600 block of Washington Boulevard on August 21, 2018, stealing $874 in cash and three video game systems; a store located in the 6900 block of Security Boulevard in Baltimore City on August 25, 2018, stealing $2,839.58 in cash and three video game systems; a store locate in the 1000 block of Taylor Avenue on August 28, 2018, stealing $414 in cash and six video game systems; and a store located in the 6700 block of York Road on September 1, 2018, stealing $968 in cash and 12 video game systems.
After the last robbery, responding police officers located McFadden’s car as he and Williams fled the scene of the robbery. Police dispatched a helicopter that was able to locate McFadden’s car and follow it. The officer in the helicopter saw Williams and McFadden stop the car near North Stricker Street in Baltimore, flee from the car, bang on the back door of an apartment, and enter the apartment. Police secured the location and knocked on the apartment door. The resident allowed the police to come inside, where police located Williams and McFadden. Search warrants were obtained for the vehicle and for the apartment.
Law enforcement recovered numerous video game systems matching those that were stolen in the last robbery, hats that matched those worn by McFadden and Williams in several of the robberies as captured on the store security cameras, cash recovered inside a black trash bag, a black air pistol that matched the apparent handgun used during the four robberies, and wallets and cell phones belonging to Williams and McFadden.
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. Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN) is the centerpiece of the Department of Justice’s violent crime reduction efforts. PSN is an evidence-based program proven to be effective at reducing violent crime. Through PSN, a broad spectrum of stakeholders work together to identify the most pressing violent crime problems in the community and develop comprehensive solutions to address them. As part of this strategy, PSN focuses enforcement efforts on the most violent offenders and partners with locally based prevention and reentry programs for lasting reductions in crime.