A 28-year-old Mount Ranier man was sentenced to 30 years in federal prison yesterday for his role in an armored car heist in Arlington during which he stole $206,000 and shot a Brinks guard six times before fleeing with an accomplice.
Kenneth Ray Bryant, considered particularly dangerous by authorities, was arrested two weeks after he and Lamont Calvin Meadows, 25, staged the Dec. 1 attack near Crystal City's Plaza Shops. Bryant was charged with conspiracy to commit armed robbery and discharging a firearm during a crime of violence. He pleaded guilty in March.
Yesterday, U.S. District Judge Leonie M. Brinkema sentenced Bryant to 360 months in federal prison, calling his decade-long record of violence "horrendous." Bryant also was ordered to repay Brinks the stolen money, which was not recovered.
Meadows pleaded guilty Jan. 18 to conspiracy to commit armed robbery and was sentenced to 10 years in prison.
During yesterday's hour-long sentencing, prosecutors described the robbery and subsequent attack on the 28-year-old guard as "an incredibly brazen and dangerous offense" commited in an area "teeming with pedestrians."
Prosecutors said Bryant and Meadows plotted for months before carrying out the 8:30 a.m. attack. Bryant shot the guard five times at close range after felling him with a bullet to the leg.
"I thought my life was over at that time," the guard said, addressing the court and crediting a bulletproof vest with saving his life. He said God and his family helped him through his anger and added: "Time has passed. . . . I am able to forgive this young man."
In a memorandum to the court, prosecutors said Bryant's criminal history began in the late 1980s, when he was a leader of the "5th and O Crew," then one of the city's deadliest gangs. Officials say it was considered responsible for 15 homicides.
In 1990, Bryant was charged with first-degree murder in the 1989 kidnapping and slaying of Alfred Cushman Jordan, but the charge was dismissed. Officials cited witness intimidation in court documents as the reason for the dismissal. The next year, Bryant was charged and later acquitted in the Christmas Eve killing of Michael Stevenson in Largo.
Bryant later became the enforcer for the violent "P Street Crew" in the District and pleaded guilty to a conspiracy charge and was sentenced to five years in prison.
Prosecutors said that after Bryant's arrest for the armored car robbery, he made a plan to have several witnesses killed.
Moments before being sentenced, Bryant stood to face the court, and without expressing remorse, told Brinkema that he never intended to kill the guard.
"My intention wasn't to kill him," Bryant said. "If it was, he wouldn't be here today. I know that sounds cruel."