A Germantown man behind a series of robberies across Montgomery County in early 2013 was sentenced Monday to more than 12 years in prison.
Duane James, 53, robbed eight businesses between Jan. 21 and Feb. 17, 2013, each time wearing a ski mask and brandishing “what appeared to be a gun,” according to his plea agreement.
In one incident, James stole $10,000 in jewelry; in another, he made off with a few hundred dollars and some packs of cigarettes, according to the agreement.
James’s streak came to an end Feb, 17, 2013, when he tried to rob a Chinese Express restaurant in Gaithersburg, but was not given any money by the clerk. A few minutes later, James robbed a nearby Exxon station, making off with about $1,000, four packs of Newport cigarettes and several cigarette lighters, according to the plea agreement.
Shortly thereafter, a Montgomery County police officer pulled James over for failing to stop at a stop sign at Christopher Avenue and Hellingly Place in Montgomery Village, recognized his description from reports of the robberies earlier that evening and arrested him, according to a statement from county police.
James pleaded guilty to five counts of robbery in U.S. District Court in Greenbelt in February 2014 and was sentenced this week to 151 months in prison, according to the U.S. Attorney’s office.
James’s attorney, Michael CitaraManis, could not be reached for comment late Monday.