Two Baltimore men have pleaded guilty to an armed robbery spree that targeted area stores and businesses during the summer of 2012, police announced Aug. 8.

Quindell Ryeshawn Gardner and co-conspirator Tavon McPhaul, both 22, made plea agreements in which they admitted to conspiring with others to commit commercial robbery and to possessing firearms in furtherance of crimes of violence.

“I want to extend my deep appreciation to all of the local, state and federal partners who demonstrate an ongoing commitment to making Baltimore safer,” Baltimore Police Commissioner Anthony Batts said in a statement. Batts announced the guilty pleas along with United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Rod J. Rosenstein; Special Agent in Charge Stephen E. Vogt of the FBI; Chief James W. Johnson of the Baltimore County Police Department and Anne Arundel County Police Chief Kevin Davis.

“I’m happy that law enforcement partners were able to come together and build cases against these individuals,” Davis said in a statement. “Clearly our citizens and business community are now much safer.”

According to their plea agreements, Gardner and McPhaul conspired with others to rob stores in the Baltimore area, stealing cars to use during the robbery and wielding guns to confiscate cash and cigarettes.

Gardner and McPhaul admitted that they committed approximately 22 and 12 robberies, respectively, with Gardner going into the store to commit the robbery armed with a short-barreled shotgun and McPhaul driving the getaway vehicle.

Gardner was arrested after a car chase following two convenience store robberies on July 4, 2012, including one on the 6300 block of Eastern Ave. Gardner’s clothing matched that of the individual who participated in both robberies that day.

McPhaul, who was driving the getaway car, escaped on foot. While running, McPhaul attempted to wipe the firearm clean with a blanket. A sawed-off shotgun was recovered along the path of McPhaul’s escape, and the vehicle he drove during the robbery was found to be stolen.

If the court accepts the defendants’ plea bargains, Gardner will be sentenced to between 15 and 25 years in prison and McPhaul will be sentenced to between 11 and 15 years in prison. U.S. District Judge Marvin J. Garbis has scheduled sentencing for Gardner for Oct. 21 at 10 a.m. McPhaul is scheduled to be sentenced on Oct. 15.


Zenitha Prince

Special to the AFRO