DOJ Seal

Department of Justice

U.S. Attorney's Office
Eastern District of North Carolina

For Immediate Release

Friday, August 24, 2018
Robert J. Higdon, Jr.
, United States Attorney
Contact: Don Connelly

Possession of a Firearm in Furtherance of a Crime of Violence and Possession of a Firearm by a Felon

RALEIGH – The United States Attorney for the Eastern District of North Carolina, Robert J. Higdon, Jr., announced that today in federal court, Chief United States District Judge James C. Dever III sentenced WARREN L. BAKER, 32, of Goldsboro, North Carolina to 408 months of imprisonment followed by 5 years of supervised release.

 

BAKER was charged in an Indictment on May 24, 2017, with Hobbs Act robbery, possession of a firearm in furtherance of a violent crime, and possession of a firearm as a convicted felon. On March 12, 2018, BAKER pled guilty to the charges.

 

On February 7, 2017, at approximately 4:20 am, BAKER robbed the Starbucks at 1445 Walter Reed Road, Fayetteville, NC. BAKER brandished a firearm at two employees who were opening the front door for business. After ordering them inside and confronting another employee at gunpoint, BAKER took $1,597 from a safe along with a portfolio binder and Starbucks electronic cards. He dropped two .380 caliber rounds during the robbery. Before fleeing, BAKER forced the employees into a store restroom. A Fayetteville Police K-9 unit then tracked BAKER to the Extended Stay Hotel across the street. Officers observed BAKER leaving the hotel office entering a vehicle with a holstered firearm on his hip. After arresting BAKER, officers executed a search warrant on the vehicle and recovered a Glock, .380 caliber firearm, a backpack, and clothes matching those used during the robbery. The backpack contained money from the robbery. In a hotel trashcan, officers located the portfolio binder, containing BAKER’S fingerprints, and a Starbucks register drawer taken during the robbery. BAKER’s girlfriend, who was with him in the vehicle, possessed Starbucks electronic cards in her purse.

 

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.

 

In support of PSN, the United States Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of North Carolina has implemented the Take Back North Carolina Initiative. This initiative emphasizes the regional assignment of federal prosecutors to work with law enforcement and District Attorney’s Offices on a sustained basis in those communities to reduce the violent crime rate, drug trafficking, and crimes against law enforcement.

 

The Fayetteville Police Department and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives, conducted the criminal investigation of this case. Assistant United States Attorney James J. Kurosad handled the prosecution of this case for the government.

 

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Field Division: Charlotte Field Division