D.C. Police have arrested three robbery suspects in a classic sting, convincing the men they were being recruited for a job in which the guns, masks, getaway car and target location would all be supplied.
It was a ruse played out over six days last week with a team of undercover officers posing as thugs.
According to a court affidavit, D.C. Police and the FBI used both male and female undercover officers to pose as bandits with a valuable prize. They told the men that a woman was having an affair with a liquor store owner, she was willing to set him up and sell him out - disclosing the inner workings of the store and the location of the keys to the safe.
The set-up began on June 10 at the El Camino Real Restaurant on Georgia Avenue where the undercover officers laid out their plan for the first time.
According to the affidavit, Rasheem Marshall and Devon Boyd said they were interested and mentioned committing robberies in the past.
Two days later on June 12, the undercovers and the defendants met up again in a Southeast D.C. neighborhood off Pennsylvania Avenue where they were driven to a secret location.
While being recorded, Marshall and Boyd told the undercovers they would need "nines," a common term for a 9 mm pistol and discussed the violence they would use to knock the victim unconscious.
The document says on June 14, the undercovers got a text message from the defendants indicating they had found a third man willing to take part who "wanted to meet the boss."
Later that day, the undercover officers went back to the El Camino Real Restaurant where they met with the three defendants and talked about the need for a wheelman and the target of the robbery.
The very next day, the three defendants and the undercover officers had another meeting inside Room 844 of the Courtyard by Marriott hotel on Second Street in Northeast. It was a room wired with cameras and microphones.
The woman who was willing to set up her lover was there and showed Marshall, Boyd, and now the third man, Marcus Cooper, a picture of herself with the owner of the store.
Boyd looked at the photo and laughed, saying "that's light work."
The men said they would "beat" the victim when they got inside.
On the day of the arrest last Saturday, the undercover officers met up with the defendants and drove them to a secret location in the District where they were recorded on videotape.
According to the court affidavit, the men tried on masks and gloves that were supplied by the police and were told they would be robbing a liquor store on Columbia Road in Northwest D.C.
The defendants then wanted to know what kind of surveillance cameras were inside and whether or not there was a silent alarm.
After admitting their willingness to use several guns supplied by police, an arrest team moved in and took the three into custody.
D.C. police initially targeted the men after they became suspects in a robbery in which an elderly man was beaten.
Rasheem Marshall, Devon Boyd and Marcus Cooper are now being held without bond.
All of the players, even the liquor store owner being set up by his lover, were police officers working undercover.