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Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives

District of Maryland

For Immediate Release

August 18, 2011

Rod J. Rosenstein, United States Attorney

Contact: Vickie E. LeDuc, Public Information Officer
(410) 209-4885

Mitchellville Man Exiled to 11 Years in Prison for Armed Carjacking

Greenbelt, Maryland – U.S. District Judge Alexander Williams, Jr. sentenced John Aster Hedgepeth, age 31, of Mitchellville, Maryland, late yesterday to 11 years in prison, followed by five years of supervised release, for carjacking and brandishing a firearm in furtherance of a crime of violence.

The sentence was announced by United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Rod J. Rosenstein; Special Agent in Charge Theresa R. Stoop of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives – Baltimore Field Division; and Chief Mark A. Magaw of the Prince George’s County Police Department.

According to Hedgepeth’s plea agreement, on July 27, 2010, at 12:10 a.m., Hedgepeth approached a woman and her friend in the 12100 block of Central Avenue in Mitchellville. The woman was inside her car and her friend was standing outside the vehicle. Hedgepeth pointed a handgun at the two individuals, demanded money and ordered the woman out of her car. Hedgepeth then demanded that the two victims run to a nearby wooded area. Hedgepeth drove away in the woman's car.

The woman was an off-duty police officer and her service weapon, a .40 caliber pistol was in the car when it was stolen. The woman and her friend identified Hedgepeth in a photo array as the person who had brandished a gun at them and taken the car.

Officers searched Hedgepeth’s residence and found the victim’s service weapon and another .40 caliber pistol in a safe in Hedgepeth’s room. Hedgepeth’s DNA was found on both handguns and his fingerprints were found on the magazine of the second .40 caliber pistol.

United States Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein commended the ATF and Prince George’s County Police Department for their work in this investigation and thanked Assistant United States Attorney William D. Moomau, who prosecuted the case.