Man Sentenced to Nine Years in Federal Prison for His Participation in an Armed Robbery of a Restaurant, Co-Conspirator Held Store Owners at Gunpoint While Defendant Emptied the Cash Register and Tip Jar and Stole the Victims’ Personal Cell Phones

U.S. District Judge George L. Russell, III sentenced Joseph Coates, age 29, of Baltimore, Maryland, today to nine years in federal prison, followed by five years of supervised release, for an armed commercial robbery in which a firearm was brandished. 

As detailed in guilty plea, on February 21, 2018, Coates and co-conspirator Jason Walker robbed a restaurant in the 2200 block of Wilkins Avenue in Baltimore.  Coates admitted that during the robbery, Walker pointed a handgun at one of the victims, while Coates took all the money from the cash register and tip jar.  In addition, Coates and Walker took the victims’ personal cell phones before fleeing the restaurant.

After receiving a 911 call to report the robbery, a Baltimore Police officer was canvassing the area and saw two men in an alley who matched the description provided by the victims.  The men were standing by a wall counting cash.  Officers detained the men and brought one of the victims to the location.  That person identified Coates as one of the men that had committed the robbery.  Officers arrested and searched Coates and Walker, recovering $272 in cash, a plastic bag full of change, blue bandanas, a black mask, two cellular telephones that belonged to two of the victims of the robbery, and a receipt from the restaurant.  Officers also recovered a fully loaded revolver from the area where Coates and Walker were counting money.  Walker admitted that it was the gun he brandished during the robbery of the restaurant.

Jason Walker, age 31, of Baltimore, Maryland, was previously sentenced to 121 months in federal prison, for his role in the robbery.