Defendant Faces Mandatory Minimum of 97 Years in Federal Prison
GREENBELT, Md. (July 20, 2011)—A federal jury on July 18 convicted Jason Thomas Scott, age 28, of Upper Marlboro, Maryland, on 11 federal felony charges relating to a series of crimes committed during more than 50 burglaries and nine armed home invasion robberies. The convictions include armed carjacking, production of child pornography, theft of firearms and related gun charges. Scott has been held in custody since 2009. The trial started on June 28 and lasted for three weeks.
The evidence shows that Jason Scott was a professional criminal who was methodical and very dangerous, as he progressed from burglaries to armed home invasion robberies and became increasingly violent, said U.S. Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein. Thanks to superb work by ATF and the Prince Georges County Police Department, Jason Scott will never again terrorize the citizens of Prince Georges County.
ATF Agents, laboratory personnel, computer forensics experts and the Prince George's County Police Department waged a methodical investigation against a calculating, dangerous criminal, says ATF Special Agent in Charge Theresa R. Stoop. We are extremely pleased with the jury's decision to find Jason Scott guilty for committing such violent and heinous crimes.
The conviction was announced by United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Rod J. Rosenstein; Special Agent in Charge Theresa R. Stoop of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives - Baltimore Field Division; Chief Mark Magaw of the Prince Georges County Police Department; and Colonel Terrence Sheridan, Superintendent of the Maryland State Police.
According to testimony presented during Scotts three week trial, Scott was interviewed in the presence of his attorney several times after his arrest and admitted that he committed 28 specific residential burglaries and nine armed home invasion robberies in Prince Georges County, including one home invasion during which Scott sexually assaulted a minor and took pornographic pictures of her. Scott also admitted that he committed many other burglaries for which he did not provide details. Finally, Scott confessed to the robbery of a firearms store in Carroll County. The evidence showed that Scott started committing burglaries at a young age, then he graduated to home invasion robberies in 2008. Many of the crimes were committed with accomplices, but Scott committed some crimes by himself.
Scott selected the homes to be targeted; observed the targeted homes to assess the number of occupants and the vehicles present; checked addresses, utilizing internet searches and a database at the Landover UPS facility where Scott worked; cut phone lines to disable alarm systems; and gained entry through unlocked windows or by smashing glass windows and doors.
According to the evidence presented at trial, during the burglaries and home invasions, Scott wore dark clothing, a black balaclava mask and black Nike gloves, and he carried a black North Face backpack with a flashlight and various burglary tools. Scott used a scanner with an earpiece to monitor police communications and police activity in the immediate area. During the home invasions, Scott carried a handgun and wore a holster. The evidence showed that Scott stole money; computers and computer accessories; flat screen televisions; firearms; safes; debit and credit cards; cell phones; and vehicles.
Evidence showed that Scott committed approximately 25 residential burglaries with Marcus Dermanellian Hunter, and occasionally utilized a vacant residential home in the 1100 block of Drumsheugh Lane in Upper Marlboro, to divide stolen items with Hunter.
Scott was convicted of charges relating to four residential home invasion robberies. According to trial testimony, on September 23, 2008, Scott and Hunter broke into a home in Upper Marlboro, after breaking out a sliding glass door. Once inside the residence, Scott, armed with a handgun, forcibly dragged a female victim to a downstairs area where Hunter was holding her husband at gunpoint. After obtaining two of their ATM cards, Hunter left the residence and withdrew money from their accounts at a nearby ATM machine. Scott remained in the residence and held the victims at gunpoint. When Hunter returned, Scott and Hunter stole a 2007 Cadillac Escalade.
On April 3, 2009, Scott and Hunter broke into a home in Bowie, Maryland, after entering an unlocked basement window. Once inside, Scott and Hunter found a husband and wife sleeping in an upstairs bedroom with their youngest child. At gunpoint, Scott ordered the family, including their three children and a visiting cousin, into the childrens room. After obtaining ATM and debit cards, Scott demanded the pin numbers from his victims and sent Hunter to withdrew money from their accounts at nearby ATM machines. Once Hunter returned to the residence, where Scott was still holding the victims at gunpoint, they stole various items, including a 2004 Mercedes S-500.
On May 23, 2009, Scott and Terence Alexander Cooke broke into another home in Upper Marlboro, after breaking a basement window. Once inside, Scott physically assaulted a juvenile female at gunpoint, while pulling her from the upstairs hallway into a bathroom. Scott and Cooke also ordered the juvenile's mother into the same bathroom, then stole property including a handgun and a 2004 Lexus LS430.
On May 26, 2009, Scott and Hunter broke into a federally licensed gun business in Woodbine, Maryland. Scott researched the dealer using the Choice Point database at Landover UPS facility. Scott and Hunter stole 39 firearms, including semi-automatic rifles, two machine guns, several handguns and six silencers. Testimony showed that on June 17, 2009, in the parking lot of the Landover UPS facility, Scott sold four of the firearms stolen from the firearms dealer to an individual who was cooperating with federal agents.
According to trial testimony, Scott specifically targeted a 17-year old minor and broke into her home in Fort Washington, Maryland, on June 13, 2009, by throwing a cinder block through the rear patio door. Once he gained entry, Scott held a 12-year old girl at gunpoint with a handgun. When the childs mother, 17-year-old sister and five-year-old brother arrived, Scott ordered them into a bedroom at gunpoint. He then ordered the 17-year old female into a separate bedroom. Scott brandished a firearm, ordered her to undress and placed a pillowcase over her head. Once the minor female was nude, Scott touched the girl and forced her to pose while he photographed and videotaped her.
On July 1, 2009, law enforcement personnel searched Scotts residence and car and arrested him on firearms charges. As a result of a series of search warrants, officers recovered evidence from Scotts bedroom and car that included 16 stolen firearms, a North Face backpack, balaclava ski masks, Nike gloves, burglary tools, police radio frequency scanners, computers, computer storage devices, ammunition and holsters, and video and digital cameras. The photographs and video of the young victim were found on storage media in his bedroom.
Scott faces a maximum penalty of 15 years in prison for each of the three carjacking counts; a mandatory minimum sentence of seven years in prison and a maximum sentence of life in prison for the first of four counts of brandishing a firearm during a crime of violence and a mandatory minimum consecutive sentence of 25 years imprisonment and a maximum sentence of life imprisonment for the other three counts; five years in prison for theft of firearms; 10 years in prison for possession of stolen firearms; 10 years in prison for illegal possession of a silencer; and a mandatory minimum sentence of 15 years in prison and a maximum sentence of 30 years in prison for sexual exploitation of a minor to produce child pornography. U.S. District Judge Peter J. Messitte has scheduled sentencing for October 31, 2011 at 9:30 a.m.
Scott was charged in Prince Georges County Circuit Court with murdering Delores Dewitt and her daughter Ebony, whose bodies were discovered in March 2009 in a burning car in Largo, Maryland. His state trial is scheduled to begin in November, 2011.
Marcus Dermanellian Hunter, age 25, of Washington, D.C., pleaded guilty to two federal firearms charges and is awaiting sentencing. Terence Alexander Cooke pleaded guilty to a state crime in Prince Georges County Circuit Court.
United States Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein commended the ATF, the Prince Georges County Police Department and the Maryland State Police for their work in this investigation and thanked the Metropolitan Police Department for its assistance in executing a search warrant. The case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Stacy Dawson Belf and U.S. Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein.
Source: Office of United States Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein