A Gaithersburg man pleaded guilty to federal charges Thursday for his role in the armed robberies of four Chipotle restaurants in which employees were held at gunpoint and knifepoint.
Police said Lamont Bonds, 26, worked together with Marvel Alegria, 24, who he was dating.
Bonds and Alegria robbed their first Chipotle — in Mt. Airy — on the night of July 22, 2012. That was after Alegria was fired from her job as general manager at that location, according to Bonds’s plea agreement.
Authorities said the two recruited a third man, Norman Guifarro, 23, to assist in the robbery.
Guifarro and Bonds entered the restaurant at around 11 p.m. wearing masks made of T-shirts and robbed the restaurant with a knife and a shotgun, respectively. They made off with $5,000, which they shared with Alegria, according to the plea agreement.
Bonds, armed with what appeared to be a black semiautomatic handgun, also robbed Chipotle restaurants in Hagerstown on Aug. 4, 2012, in Gaithersburg on Oct. 21 and in Damascus on Nov. 25.
Bonds and another man took $9,400 from the safe of the Hagerstown restaurant. Alegria drove Bonds to and from the Gaithersburg and Damascus restaurants, from which he stole $10,500 total, according to the plea agreement.
During the investigation of the Oct. 21 robbery, a former employee of the Mt. Airy Chipotle identified Alegria as a suspect. After the Damascus robbery, police watched the Gaithersburg apartment Alegria and Bonds shared. Bonds was arrested the next day after police searched the residence.
Alegria was arrested Nov. 29, according to a statement from police.
Bonds told detectives that members of the MS-13 gang had forced him to commit the robberies. Alegria was arrested with $2,000 cash in her pocket, according to the plea agreement.
Bonds pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to interfere with commerce by robbery, for which he faces up to 20 years in prison, and one count of brandishing a firearm in furtherance of a crime of violence, for which he could receive life in prison, according to a statement from the U.S. Attorney’s office.
His sentencing is scheduled for Nov. 24.
Alegria previously pleaded guilty for her role in the conspiracy and is scheduled to be sentenced Sept. 23.
Guiffarro pleaded guilty to the Mt. Airy robbery in Carroll County Circuit Court and is awaiting sentencing, according to the statement.