For Immediate Release
Final Defendant Pleads Guilty in Armed Robbery of Pharmacy Van
WASHINGTON — Juwuan Edward Francis Champion, 24, of Bowie, Maryland, pleaded guilty yesterday to his role in the felony armed robbery of a pharmaceutical van driver and a firearms charge, announced U.S. Attorney Matthew M. Graves and Special Agent in Charge Craig Kailimai of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives Washington Field Division.
Champion, aka “Big Money,” pleaded guilty on Dec. 19 to conspiracy to interfere with interstate commerce by robbery (known as conspiracy to commit a Hobbs Act robbery) and unlawful possession of a machine gun. U.S. District Judge Amit P. Mehta scheduled sentencing for March 15, 2024.
Champion was part of a four-member crew participating in a drug trafficking operation in the Potomac Gardens neighborhood of Southeast Washington. The three other members included Fitzgerald Hunt, 24, of Washington, also known as “GMoney;” Joshua Johnson, 18, of Capitol Heights, Md., also known as “Lil Josh,” and Keyshawn Lavender, 20, of Washington, also known as “Key.” From January to October 2021, the crew members allegedly trafficked in Oxycodone, Alprazolam and other illegal narcotics.
On March 30, 2021, the crew robbed a pharmaceutical delivery van driver outside a pharmacy in Waldorf, Md. The crew put the driver in handcuffs, pistol whipped him and then drove off with the van full of pills.
Police officers and ATF agents arrested the four men on Oct. 7, 2021.
Hunt, Johnson and Lavender previously pleaded guilty. Hunt was sentenced on Sept. 29 to 108 months in prison and 36 months of supervised release. Johnson, who was a juvenile at the time of the robbery, and Lavender were not federally charged with the robbery. Johnson pleaded guilty to drug trafficking and carjacking in Maryland and was sentenced locally. Lavender pleaded guilty to drug trafficking charges in D.C. and received a sentence of 30 months in prison.
This case is being investigated by the ATF Washington Field Office and the Metropolitan Police Department. Critical support was provided by the Charles County, Maryland, Sheriff’s Office, and additional assistance was provided by the U.S. Marshals Service, the Prince George’s County, Marylandd Police Department, and Anne Arundel County, Maryland Police Department.
The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Candice Wong of the Violent Crime and Narcotics Trafficking Section of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia. Assistance was provided by former Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Jonathan Jacobs.