For Immediate Release
Fifth Defendant in the Armed Robbery of a Federally Licensed Firearms Dealer Sentenced to 13 Years in Federal Prison
Armed Robbers Stole 37 Firearms at Gunpoint, Including Assault Rifles
Baltimore, Maryland – U.S. District Judge Richard D. Bennett sentenced David Wise, a/k/a Rambo and Rampage, age 23, of Baltimore, to 13 years in prison, followed by three years of supervised release, for the armed robbery of a federally licensed firearms dealer.
The sentence was announced by United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Robert K. Hur; Special Agent in Charge Rob Cekada of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) Baltimore Field Division; Special Agent in Charge Gordon B. Johnson of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Baltimore Field Office; and Chief Terrence B. Sheridan of the Baltimore County Police Department.
“David Wise and his co-defendants targeted a gun dealer in order to steal and resell the guns on the street. Through the coordinated efforts of our law enforcement partners, many of the guns were recovered, and a group of armed robbers has been put behind bars,” said U.S. Attorney Robert K. Hur.
“These five felons terrorized innocent employees, they victimized a law-abiding business owner, and they stole these firearms with purely criminal intentions in mind,” said ATF Special Agent in Charge Cekada. “Federal firearms licensees are more than businesses—they are the livelihood of the FFL owner and their employees. Violent acts like this are a threat to public safety and we will do everything in our power to bring offenders like these to justice.”
According to his plea agreement and other court documents, on August 5, 2016, Wise and four co-conspirators robbed a bait, tackle, and gun store in Dundalk, Maryland, that was a federally licensed firearms dealer. Specifically, Raymond McCullough, the principal planner and orchestrator of the robbery, drove the co-conspirators in a stolen pick-up truck to the store to conduct the robbery. The group had specifically targeted the store in order to pilfer firearms for subsequent sale and use, and brought firearms to force the victims to submit and zip-ties to bind the victims. Wise and Lerron Sheppard entered the store, pointed guns at the store owners, and demanded money and guns. Fearing for their lives, the victims complied. Wise and Sheppard bound one victim with zip-ties, then ordered the second victim to assist them in getting the cash and firearms. While Wise stood guard over the victims, Sheppard unlocked the front door of the store (which had automatically locked) so that Smith and Hawkins could enter. McCullough backed the pick-up truck to the front of the store and waited outside. Wise, Smith, Hawkins, and Sheppard then proceeded to plunder the store of cash and 37 firearms, including three assault rifles and a silencer. The men packed the firearms in duffel bags and backpacks and carried them outside to the pick-up truck. Sheppard then pushed the second victim in a safe and locked her inside. The men then fled to an apartment in Baltimore, where they divided the cash and firearms among themselves. Wise received several guns, including one of the assault rifles.
The victims reported that Wise had removed a shotgun from the safe before Sheppard locked the second victim inside. Wise did not take the shotgun, but left it in the store next to the earbuds he had worn during the robbery. Investigators were able to obtain a fingerprint from the shotgun which matched Wise’s fingerprint. A search warrant was subsequently executed at Wise’s residence. Law enforcement recovered several items stolen in the robbery, including firearms with the sales tags still attached. Officers also recovered the loaded pistol that Wise pointed at the victims during the robbery.
During the investigation of this robbery, law enforcement recovered many of the firearms taken during the robbery and learned that the defendants had committed additional robberies in the weeks before the robbery of the firearms dealer. As part of their plea agreements and/or at their sentencing hearings, David Wise, Raymond McCullough, and Lerron Sheppard admitted committing these additional robberies.
Wise is the fifth, and final, defendant to be sentenced to federal prison in this case.
Raymond McCullough, a/k/a Troop, age 35, of Baltimore, pleaded guilty to an armed commercial robbery and admitted committing another robbery with David Wise. Sentenced to 20 years in federal prison;
Reginald Smith, a/k/a Young Loc and Loc, age 25, of Baltimore, pleaded guilty to an armed commercial robbery. Sentenced to 115 months in federal prison;
Tavon Hawkins, a/k/a G and Tay, age 36, of Baltimore, pleaded guilty to an armed commercial robbery. Sentenced to 17 years in federal prison; and
Lerron Sheppard, a/k/a D-Loc, age 25, of Baltimore, pleaded guilty to an armed commercial robbery and admitted committing another robbery. Sentenced to 17 years in federal prison.
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. Attorney General Jeff Sessions reinvigorated PSN in 2017 as part of the Department’s renewed focus on targeting violent criminals, directing all U.S. Attorney’s Offices to work in partnership with federal, state, local, and tribal law enforcement and the local community to develop effective, locally based strategies to reduce violent crime.
United States Attorney Robert K. Hur commended the ATF, FBI and Baltimore County Police Department for their work in the investigation. Mr. Hur thanked Assistant U.S. Attorneys David Metcalf and Patricia C. McLane, who prosecuted the case.