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Seven members of violent multi-state robbery crew indicted

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WASHINGTON—An indictment was unsealed on Thursday charging seven members of an armed robbery crew with conspiracy, Hobbs Act robbery, and other charges related to a multi-state robbery spree that targeted pharmacy and cell phone retail stores.

The charges were announced by U.S. Attorney Matthew M. Graves and FBI Acting Special Agent in Charge Sarah Linden, of the Washington Field Office’s Criminal and Cyber Divisions.

Ashley Gause, 30, was arrested on June 8, 2023. She and her co-defendants – D’Marrell Mitchell, 33, Terrance Barnham, 33, Floyd Neal, 30, Ashawntea Henderson, 31, Deaundre Blount, 30, and Glenn Dolford, 29, all of Washington, D.C., are charged with conspiracy to interfere with interstate commerce by robbery (Hobbs Act robbery), a crime that carries a statutory maximum sentence of 20 years in prison, for allegedly robbing at least 18 pharmaceutical and cell phone stores in D.C., Maryland, Virginia, and New Jersey, between May 2020 and May 2021. Gause is charged in 20 of the 21 counts. She is charged, with various members, in all 15 counts of Hobbs Act robbery.

According to the indictment, Gause, a/k/a “Cray,” worked with different members of the crew to rob businesses that they had surveilled. Gause and her co-conspirators also allegedly traveled to other states – including North Carolina and Virginia – likely searching for other possible targets for robberies. In some of the robberies, the defendants assaulted the victims, zip tied their hands, and/or held them at gunpoint in order to demand currency, prescription drugs, and/or cellular telephones from the victim businesses. The defendants would then sell the narcotics and cell phones. The victim businesses were located as far away as Neptune, New Jersey, and as close as neighborhoods in the District of Columbia.

“This indictment alleges that these defendants conspired to commit armed robberies, at targeted businesses, using firearms and the threat of violence,” said U.S. Attorney Graves. “They chose victim establishments – throughout DC, Maryland, Virginia, and New Jersey – based on location, opportunity, and the profitability of the goods they planned to steal. Through the great work of the FBI and partner agencies, this ring has been dismantled.”

“Ashley Gause and her co-conspirators allegedly committed a series of armed robberies in Virginia, New Jersey, Maryland, and Washington, D.C., over the course of at least two years, in part to steal prescription drugs and cell phones that they could then resell,” said Special Agent in Charge Jacobs. “During some of the armed robberies, the defendants assaulted victims, tied their hands, and held them at gunpoint. The people who live and work in these communities deserve to feel safe. Today’s indictment demonstrates the FBI’s commitment to leveraging partnerships to bring to justice these boundless violent criminals.”

All of the defendants, except Glenn Dolford, are charged with conspiracy to distribute oxycodone, amphetamine, morphine, tapentadol, hydrocodone, and promethazine with codeine. Branham and Neal are charged with carrying and possessing a firearm during a drug trafficking offense. Gause and Mitchell are charged with two counts of using, carrying, possessing and brandishing a firearm during a crime of violence. Gause is charged, alone, in a third count.

In addition to the conspiracy charge, each count of Hobbs Act robbery carries a statutory maximum sentence of 20 years in prison; conspiracy to distribute oxycodone carries a statutory maximum sentence of 20 years in prison; possessing a firearm during a drug trafficking offense carries a statutory maximum sentence of life in prison; using, carrying, possessing and brandishing a firearm during a crime of violence carries a statutory maximum sentence of life in prison. A U.S. District court judge will determine the appropriate sentence after considering the sentencing guidelines and other factors.

This case was investigated by the FBI’s Washington Field Office with valuable assistance from the Metropolitan Police Department, Alexandria Police Department (Virginia), Anne Arundel County Police Department (Maryland), Baltimore County Police Department (Maryland), Henrico County Police Division (Virginia), Laurel Police Department (Maryland), Montgomery County Police Department (Maryland), Neptune Township Police Department (New Jersey), and Prince George’s County Police Department (Maryland). It is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Joshua Gold.

Photo by Sora Shimazaki from Pexels

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