WASHINGTON – Mekhi Truesdale, 20, of Washington, D.C., has been sentenced to 10 years in prison for his role in a series of armed robberies that took place during the fall of 2020 in Northwest Washington.
The announcement was made by U.S. Attorney Matthew M. Graves, Wayne A. Jacobs, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI Washington Field Office Criminal Division, Christopher Stock, Acting Chief of the U.S. Park Police, and Robert J. Contee III, Chief of the Metropolitan Police Department (MPD).
Truesdale pleaded guilty in August 2022, in the Superior Court of the District of Columbia., to two counts of armed robbery. The plea, which was contingent upon the Court’s approval, called for a sentence of eight to 10 years in prison, consistent with the Court’s voluntary sentencing guidelines. The Honorable Michael O’Keefe accepted the plea and sentenced Truesdale accordingly yesterday. Following his prison term, Truesdale will be placed on five years of supervised release.
According to plea documents, on Oct. 22, 2020, at approximately 9:45 p.m., a woman was walking in the area of Belt Road and Harrison Street NW when Truesdale and an accomplice approached her. Truesdale told the woman he had a gun and demanded her cellphone and phone passcode. He lifted his sweatshirt to reveal a black semi-automatic handgun. The woman handed over her cellphone, passcode, and wallet. About 45 minutes later, the cellphone was used to transfer $500 to Truesdale via a Venmo account. The next morning, an unsuccessful attempt was made to transfer more than $12,000 to various Venmo accounts held by Truesdale and others.
Another robbery took place on Nov. 1, 2020. At approximately 1:05 a.m., a man and woman were getting into a vehicle that was parked in the 1400 block of 22nd Street NW. Truesdale and an accomplice approached them and demanded their cellphones, phone passcodes, wallets, and keys. The accomplice pointed a silver revolver, and the man and woman turned over their cellphone, wallets, and keys. The woman also turned over her Apple AirPods. Truesdale and the accomplice then ordered the man and woman to get into the car, which they locked using the stolen car keys. They then fled. Less than 15 minutes later, $20 was transferred from one of the victims’ accounts and an attempt was made to transfer another $50.
Three others pleaded guilty on July 13, 2022, to charges in the investigation:
— William Bell, 20, of Washington, D.C. Bell pleaded guilty to one count of robbery and one count of attempted robbery for two hold-ups on Oct. 17, 2020, and Oct. 21, 2020. The first took place near the intersection of 22nd Street and Virginia Avenue NW, and the second in the area of the 1200 block of W Street NW. He was sentenced yesterday to 54 months in prison, with all but two years suspended on the condition that he successfully complete three years of supervised probation.
— Dave Harding, 20 of Washington, D.C. Harding pleaded guilty to one count of armed robbery and one count of robbery, for two hold-ups, both on Oct. 31, 2020, including one at Fort Reno Park and another in the 3100 block of P Street NW. He was sentenced yesterday to seven years in prison, followed by five years of supervised release.
— Jada Winder, 20, of Greenbelt, Maryland. She pleaded guilty to two counts of receiving stolen property involving the transfers from victims’ accounts. She was sentenced in August 2022 to 360 days of incarceration, but all of that time was suspended on the condition she successfully complete one year of supervised probation.
Truesdale was arrested in Washington, D.C. on Nov. 5, 2020, following a foot chase in the Georgetown area. Bell was arrested Nov. 30, 2021, in San Luis Obispo, Calif., by the U.S. Marshals Service. Harding was arrested on April 8, 2022, in Washington, D.C. Winder was arrested in Greenbelt on Nov. 24, 2021.
This case was investigated by MPD, the FBI Washington Field Office’s Violent Crimes Task Force, and the U.S. Park Police. Valuable assistance was provided by the Metro Transit Police Department and the Montgomery County, Md., Police Department.
In announcing the sentences, U.S. Attorney Graves, Special Agent in Charge Jacobs, Acting Chief Stock, and Chief Contee expressed appreciation for the work of those investigating the case from MPD, the FBI Washington Field Office, and USPP, as well as for the assistance of the Deputy U.S. Marshals involved in locating the defendants. They also acknowledged the efforts of those working on the case from the U.S. Attorney’s Office, including Paralegal Specialists Debra McPherson and Alesha Matthews Yette.
Finally, they commended the work of Assistant U.S. Attorneys Joshua Gold and Charles R. Jones, who investigated and prosecuted the case, along with Assistant U.S. Attorney Jamie Carter, who investigated the case prior to indictment.
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