Man receives nearly 14 years in armored truck robbery He's one of 5 arrested in theft of $460,000 from ambushed vehicle

November 28, 1997|By Brenda J. Buote | Brenda J. Buote,SUN STAFF

An East Baltimore man who pleaded guilty to taking part in a brazen $460,000 armored truck robbery in March was sentenced Wednesday to nearly 14 years in prison.

Daren Lee Grant, 28, of the 2600 block of E. Mura St. was sentenced to 165 months in prison by Chief Judge J. Frederick Motz of the U.S. District Court in Baltimore for his role in the robbery and hijacking of a Dunbar armored truck March 20.

Grant was one of five people arrested in the robbery. He was the second to be sentenced.

In August, Grant pleaded guilty to conspiracy to interfere with commerce by robbery and using a firearm in the commission of a crime of violence.

Motz sentenced Grant to 105 months for the conspiracy charge and imposed a consecutive five-year term for the firearm offense. The federal system does not grant parole.

According to the statement of facts read by the prosecution during the sentencing hearing, Grant and Jerry H. Johnson ambushed the armored truck as it was making a pickup at a McDonald's restaurant at 29th Street and Greenmount Avenue.

They assaulted a Dunbar guard as she was entering the vehicle and ordered the driver, Tommy Charles, to drive about five blocks to an area near Memorial Stadium, according to the statement of facts. There, Grant and Johnson unloaded $463,022 into a waiting Toyota Landcruiser driven by Grant's cousin, the statement said.

The cousin, Tami Edmonds, was charged by Baltimore police with robbery with a deadly weapon, which carries a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison.

Johnson pleaded guilty to a federal conspiracy charge and Motz sentenced him to 10 years in prison Nov. 18.

Federal agents said the robbery was an inside job.

Dana M. Jackson, 29, a Dunbar driver and longtime friend of Grant's, was accused of taking the day off to help stage the robbery. Agents said he was familiar with the truck route and knew that the armored car would be carrying sacks of cash from Signet Bank, NationsBank and other financial institutions.

Jackson was convicted this month on a federal charge of interference with commerce by threats or violence.

He is scheduled for sentencing Jan. 27.

Charles, the driver of the hijacked truck, also was charged by the FBI with taking part in the robbery. He was acquitted in the trial in which Jackson was convicted.

The FBI recovered nearly $114,000 of the stolen funds. About $111,000 was found hidden in Grant's grandmother's freezer and $2,500 was found in Jackson's bedroom.

Pub Date: 11/28/97

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