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Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives

District of Maryland

For Immediate Release

April 13, 2012

Rod J. Rosenstein, United States Attorney

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

Armed Carjacker Exiled to Over 34 Years in Prison

Baltimore, Maryland – U.S. District Judge Marvin J. Garbis sentenced John Franklin, age 41, of Baltimore, Maryland, today to 414 months in prison, followed by three years of supervised release, for conspiracy to and committing carjacking, two counts of possession of a firearm in furtherance of a crime of violence, and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon. Franklin was convicted by a jury on February 10, 2012. Judge Garbis enhanced Franklin’s sentence upon finding that he obstructed justice after Franklin wrote several letters to two of the victims in this case, attempting to persuade them to not testify against him and after trial, Franklin sent a letter to a codefendant that included threatening and intimidating statements.

The sentence was announced by United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Rod J. Rosenstein; Acting Special Agent in Charge Marino F. Vidoli of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives – Baltimore Field Division; Commissioner Frederick H. Bealefeld III of the Baltimore City Police Department; Baltimore City State's Attorney Gregg L. Bernstein; and Maryland Attorney General Douglas F. Gansler.

According to evidence presented at Franklin’s five day trial, on August 14, 2010, Franklin waved down a man driving a Buick LeSabre, telling the driver that he needed a hack (an unlicensed cab ride) to East Baltimore. The driver agreed and Franklin and two other men got into the car. A short time later, Franklin and his co-conspirators robbed the driver at gunpoint, taking his license, cell phone and cash, then ordered the victim out of the vehicle. Franklin and the other men then drove away in the LeSabre.

Other witnesses testified that about 15 minutes later, driving the LeSabre, Franklin and his co-conspirators approached three women who had just parked their Dodge Charger in the 4000 block of East Lombard Street. As the women got out of the car, Franklin and co-defendant Troy Williams walked up to the women and robbed them at gunpoint, then demanded the keys to the car. Franklin and Williams then drove away in the Charger, followed by the other co-defendant driving the LeSabre.

According to trial evidence, a few minutes later Baltimore Police officers responding to the report of the armed carjacking of the Charger saw the Charger being followed by the LeSabre. Officers were able to stop the LeSabre, but the Charger sped away, eventually hitting a parked car. Police saw Franklin and Williams bail out of the Charger and run away. With the help of the Baltimore Police helicopter unit, officers located Williams under a parked car. Franklin was located nearby. Police recovered from Franklin the first victim's driver’s license as well as a cellphone belonging to one of the women. A fully-loaded .357 caliber revolver was recovered in the same block where Franklin was arrested.

Troy Williams, age 44, of Baltimore, pleaded guilty to his role in the scheme. No date has been set for his sentencing.

United States Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein commended the ATF, Baltimore Police Department, Baltimore City State’s Attorney’s Office and the Maryland Attorney General’s Office for their work in this investigation and prosecution. Mr. Rosenstein thanked Assistant United States Attorney John W. Sippel, Jr. and Special Assistant United States Attorney Gerald A. A. Collins, a cross designated Maryland Assistant Attorney General assigned to Exile cases, who prosecuted the case.