Serial Robber Receives 178-416 Years in Prison

NIBIN Success Story banner with black background and silver letters

 

The Incidents

Four seemingly unrelated armed robberies took place in various parts of Philadelphia between June and July 2015. The first robbery occurred on June 7 when a suspect approached two men on Gransback Street. A concerned neighbor trying to assist was shot by the suspect and paralyzed from the waist down.

 

During a second attack on June 25, a man was robbed and then shot while walking to the train station to give his wife money. On June 26, a third robbery occurred on Van Pelt Street, and the victim was shot in the chest.

On July 21, two people were standing on Emerald St when they were approached by a man that pulled a gun out and ordered them to get on the ground. One of the victims was shot in the back twice after the assailant took his wallet.

During this crime spree, three different detective divisions were working their attempted murder investigations independently. While these crimes appeared unconnected at the time, they shared similarities that would be discovered later. At the scene of each crime, police had recovered casings from a 9mm handgun. During each of the robberies, the suspect got out of a car that pulled up in front of the victims; after robbing and then shooting the victims, the suspect would flee in the waiting car.

The Investigation

The big break in these cases occurred on July 25, 2015, when Philadelphia police arrested Frank Oliver III, former personal assistant to Common Pleas Court Judge Roger F. Gordon, after recovering an unlicensed 9mm handgun in his vehicle during a traffic stop. After test firing the recovered gun, trained analysts were able to link it to three of the armed robberies by using the National Integrated Ballistic Information Network (NIBIN). NIBIN captures three dimensional images of cartridge cases from a firearm or shooting scene and compares the unique markings to cartridge cases already in the system.
The Philadelphia Police Department passed on the NIBIN lead to the ATF Philadelphia Field Division Crime Gun Intelligence Center (CGIC) for additional analysis. Within 24 hours, the CGIC analyzed all available crime gun intelligence and identified Oliver as a suspect in three shootings.

 

The Results

Confronted with this evidence, Oliver confessed to investigators about his involvement in the shootings and implicated Amin Ackridge as his partner in crime and the actual shooter. He also provided information on the shooting on Van Pelt Street that Ackridge committed alone. After receiving this information, CGIC contacted the Philadelphia Firearm Unit for the evidence recovered at the fourth shooting, which turned out to be a positive match with the other robberies. With this new information, detectives showed photo arrays to all the victims, who were able to identify Ackridge as both the robber and the shooter.

 

Authorities issued an arrest warrant for Oliver and Ackridge on Feb. 6, 2016. Oliver, who had acted as the getaway driver, testified against Ackridge and received a sentence of three to six years in prison. Oliver was also sentenced to 15 years of probation after his release. Prosecutors called Ackridge a “ruthless robber” and pointed out the violence of his shootings, which left one of his victims paralyzed.

 

On April 28, 2017, Ackridge was found guilty of attempted murder, aggravated assault, robbery, criminal conspiracy and firearms violations. He was sentenced to 178-416 years in prison on July 17, 2017. His significant sentence is a rare event for a non-homicide conviction in the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas.

 

Why This Matters

Without the use of CGIC or NIBIN, Ackridge would still be on the streets of Philadelphia and these cases would still be open. ATF’s primary focus is reducing violent crime and the disrupting the pattern of violent behavior.

 

Available Resources

For more information on NIBIN in your area, please visit the NIBIN map and for other resources on CGIC visit our resources section.

 

Last Reviewed February 21, 2019