Criminal Justice News

Friday, August 31, 2012

District Man Pleads Guilty to Bank Robbery Charge

DNA Linked Him to Clothing Left at Scene

WASHINGTON—Tony Wilkerson, 40, of Washington, D.C., pled guilty today to a bank robbery charge stemming from a 2008 hold-up in Northwest Washington, announced U.S. Attorney Ronald C. Machen, Jr.; James W. McJunkin, Assistant Director in Charge of the FBI’s Washington Field Office; and Cathy L. Lanier, Chief of the Metropolitan Police Department (MPD).

Wilkerson pled guilty before the Honorable Judge Ellen S. Huvelle in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia. He is to be sentenced November 8, 2012. The charge carries a statutory maximum of 20 years in prison.

According to the government’s evidence, on November 17, 2008, at approximately 10:40 a.m., Wilkerson entered an M&T Bank in the 6400 block of Georgia Avenue NW. Wilkerson was wearing a grey sweatshirt with stripes and a blue baseball cap. While inside the bank, he walked to the teller’s counter and presented a note demanding money.

The teller complied and provided him with $5,000. Wilkerson took the cash and fled the bank, but he left the demand note behind. The bank’s security guard, who had been patrolling the area around the bank at the time of the robbery, soon learned what had happened and began following Wilkerson. The guard lost sight of Wilkerson but found in a nearby yard a grey sweatshirt with stripes and a blue baseball hat consistent with the clothing that the robber wore.

These items were collected by law enforcement and sent to the FBI for analysis. Tests identified DNA found on the clothing as belonging to Wilkerson, whose DNA was in the criminal justice system because of a prior conviction. The FBI also matched Wilkerson’s fingerprints to the demand note and a toy recovered with the robbery clothing.

Wilkerson was arrested in May 2012 in North Carolina.

In announcing the guilty plea, U.S. Attorney Machen, Assistant Director McJunkin, and Chief Lanier commended the exceptional investigative work of the FBI/MPD Violent Crimes Task Force. They also thanked those who worked on the case from the U.S. Attorney’s Office, including Paralegal Specialist Carolyn Carter-McKinley; Assistant U.S. Attorney Catherine K. Connelly, who investigated and secured the indictment in this case; and Assistant U.S. Attorney Sean Lewis and Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Brittan Heller, who are prosecuting this matter.

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