Two Plead Guilty to Brazen 2017 Hill Robbery

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Two men have pled guilty to charges stemming from an armed robbery of a pharmacy last year on Capitol Hill, U.S. Attorney Jessie K. Liu announced Friday.

Arturo Gray, 23, of Capitol Heights, Maryland and Twon Brown, 24, of DC pled guilty on Oct. 4, 2018, in the Superior Court of the District of Columbia to the charge of robbery while armed.

The robbery took place at approximately 2:20 p.m. on May 5, 2017, at Grubb’s Pharmacy in the 300 block of East Capitol Street NE. Entering the pharmacy, Brown pointed a gun at employees and customers while Gray guarded the door and shouted commands at the employees.

As the crime continued, Brown and another individual jumped over the counter and took prescription medications from the store while holding the employees at gunpoint. Brown, Gray, and the third person then fled the establishment together. 

Video footage from inside the store helped to identify the defendants. Subsequently, law enforcement recovered text messages between the conspirators which showed them discussing their plans for the robbery. Electronic evidence showed Gray searching on the Internet for the pharmacy in advance of the robbery and using Google Maps to navigate to the location.

Gray was arrested on Oct. 16, 2017 and Brown was arrested on May 28, 2018. The defendants were indicted on Oct. 3, 2018, on 22 counts relating to the robbery and pled guilty the following day. This case was set to go to trial on Nov. 1, 2018 before the defendants pled guilty to the lead charge of the indictment.

The plea, which is contingent upon the Court’s approval, calls for an agreed-upon sentence of five years of incarceration. Brown also pled guilty to unlawful possession of a firearm in an unrelated case. That plea calls for an additional one year of incarceration. Sentencing is expected to take place Nov. 30.