Greenbelt, MD – U.S. District Judge Paul W. Grimm sentenced Joshua Isaiah Potter, age 22, of District Heights, Maryland, today to 10 years in prison, followed by five years of supervised release, for his participation in a series of commercial robberies in which the robbers brandished a gun.

The sentence was announced by United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Robert K. Hur; Acting Special Agent in Charge Jennifer Moore of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Baltimore Field Office; Acting Chief Russell E. Hamill of the Montgomery County Police Department; Frederick County Sheriff Charles A. “Chuck” Jenkins; and Chief Henry P. Stawinski III of the Prince George’s County Police Department.

“Joshua Potter knowingly chose to be a part of this conspiracy to commit dangerous armed robberies,” said U.S. Attorney Robert K. Hur.  “All members of a conspiracy can be held responsible for the actions of all of the conspirators.  Potter will now spend 10 years in federal prison, where there is no parole—ever.  Put down the guns and save a life—maybe even your own.”

According to his guilty plea, between December 27, 2016 and January 7, 2017, Potter and his co-defendants, Deniro Wesley Southern-Robinson and Deandre Denzil Proctor, conspired with others to commit a series of robberies of businesses.  In each robbery, Southern-Robinson and/or Proctor entered the locations, brandished a gun, and robbed the employees of the proceeds of the business, while Potter served as a lookout during the robberies and drove the getaway vehicle.

Specifically, on December 27, 2016, Potter drove co-defendant Deandre Proctor and another conspirator to a convenience store, where Proctor and the co-conspirator entered and robbed the store, stealing approximately $130.  Potter served as the lookout and getaway driver.  In less than two hours in the early morning of December 29, 2016, the conspirators robbed three businesses in Myersville, Frederick, and Bethesda, Maryland.  In each robbery, Southern-Robinson brandished a silver revolver and Proctor brandished a BB gun.  Both men covered their faces with bandanas or masks.  In the first robbery, they confronted an employee and demanded to know where the safe was.  The victim informed them that there was no safe and began pushing one of the robbers before noticing that both appeared to be brandishing firearms.  Southern-Robinson and Proctor emptied the cash registers into their pockets and a duffel bag, stealing approximately $517.  As they fled, they threatened to kill the employee if he/she called the police.  In the other two robberies, Southern-Robinson and Proctor confronted employees and demanded they open the cash registers, stealing $232 and $350, respectively.  Potter was the lookout and getaway driver for each robbery.

On January 7, 2017, Potter drove the robbers to a business in Myersville, Maryland.  Southern-Robinson and Proctor entered the business, again brandishing a silver revolver and BB gun, respectively, and wearing masks to cover their faces.  The robbers confronted two store employees, with Proctor pointing the BB gun at the chest of one of the victim store employees, and asked for the safe.  The victim led them to where the safe was located and Southern-Robinson removed cash from the safe and put it in a duffel bag.  Southern-Robinson and Proctor stole approximately $773.  Potter served as the getaway driver after the robbery was completed.

Several minutes later, law enforcement officers saw Potter’s vehicle traveling from the direction of the business and initiated a traffic stop.  Proctor, the front seat passenger, was wearing the same distinctive shoes he had worn in the December 29th robberies.  Law enforcement arrested the defendants and obtained a search warrant for the vehicle.  Law enforcement seized the silver revolver, a .22-caliber handgun loaded with four rounds of ammunition, from the right rear passenger door, where Southern-Robinson had been seated.  From the front passenger floor, where Proctor was sitting, law enforcement recovered black clothing that matched the clothing worn during the robberies, a black BB gun, and the duffel bag that had been used in the robberies.  Law enforcement also recovered $789 from the pouch on the back of the front passenger seat, where Southern-Robinson has been seated, and three cell phones, among other items.  Additional search warrants were executed at the residences of Southern-Robinson and Proctor that recovered additional cash and other clothing worn during the December 29th robberies.

Deniro Southern-Robinson, age 21, of Largo, Maryland, pleaded guilty to his role in the robberies and was sentenced to 10 years in federal prison.  Deandre Denzil Proctor, age 22, of Upper Marlboro, Maryland, has also pleaded guilty and is scheduled to be sentenced on May 6, 2019 at 9:00 a.m.

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.

United States Attorney Robert K. Hur commended the FBI Cross-Border Task Force, the Montgomery County Police Department, the Frederick County Sheriff’s Office, and the Prince George’s County Police Department for their work in the investigation.  Mr. Hur thanked Assistant U.S. Attorney Elizabeth G. Wright, who is prosecuting the case.