A Baltimore man who helped rob hundreds of thousands of dollars and multiple handguns from five armored vehicle drivers over the course of three years pleaded guilty to multiple robbery and gun charges Thursday, according to the Maryland U.S. Attorney's office.
David Marquise Howard, 27 — who is also listed as having addresses in Owings Mills and Hyattsville in federal court documents — participated in stealing a total of $555,000 in the robberies, which he planned and staged from 2009 to 2011 with four others, according to his plea agreement.
The full scheme, which also involved one additional robbery in 2008, netted a total of $765,000 and has resulted in guilty pleas from three additional participants, prosecutors said. A fifth alleged conspirator is scheduled to go to trial in October.
The scheme involved the use of disguises, "throw away" cars and disposable cell phones that Howard and his partners ditched or discarded after committing the robberies; multiple other vehicles for quick getaways; and the rental of nearby hotel rooms for dividing the stolen money and arranging for the disposal of the stolen handguns, prosecutors said.
One co-conspirator, Erick Wilson, of Columbia, was a Dunbar Armored vehicle driver at the time of the first robbery, which Howard was not involved in. Wilson helped his mother, Regina McCullom, of Laurel, stage the robbery of the armored vehicle he was driving in Washington, prosecutors said.
Howard participated in the next five robberies. The first three occurred in Silver Spring on April 29 and Dec. 23, 2009, and May 17, 2010. The fourth occurred Dec. 27, 2010, in Ellicott City, and the fifth April 4, 2011 in Silver Spring.
All the robberies targeted armed drivers transporting large amounts of cash in Dunbar vehicles, prosecutors said, and all involved the drivers being held up at gunpoint. Federal court documents mention the conspirators' having access to an assault rifle and a machine gun.
At different times during the scheme, Howard hid cash and other items linked to the robberies, including the stolen guns and packaging of the disposable cell phones, in a Pennsylvania storage unit and in a wooded area of Baltimore, prosecutors said.
After being arrested in May 2011 for the Silver Spring robberies, Howard "removed $2,000 in stolen new $20 bills from his groin area" before taking police to the edge of the Forest Park Golf Course in Baltimore, where he'd buried $10,000 and the packaging for a cell phone he'd used in one of the robberies, prosecutors said.
Howard faces 20 years in prison for conspiracy to commit robbery, as well as two consecutive sentences of at least seven years and 25 years, respectively, for two charges of using and brandishing a firearm during a crime of violence, prosecutors said.
Wilson has also pleaded guilty in the scheme on similar charges, and is scheduled to be sentenced Nov. 5. Two others, Gloria Martino, of Hyattsville, Howard's girlfriend who was charged with being an accessory after the fact, and Matthew Mace, of Olney, who was charged with being an accessory after the fact and a gun charge, have also pleaded guilty.
McCullom, who faces similar charges to those Howard and Wilson pleaded guilty to, is scheduled to go to trial Oct. 29.
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