ELKTON — A man who robbed a taxi driver at gunpoint near Elkton in February — because he needed money to make a car payment — has received a three-year prison term.
Cecil County Circuit Court Judge Brenda Sexton imposed a seven-year sentence on the defendant, Qydare Dshaun Moore, 23, of the unit block of Winchester Drive near Elkton, and then suspended four years of it during a courtroom hearing Friday.
The judge imposed the sentence after Moore pleaded guilty to robbery. As part of a plea deal, in exchange for Moore’s guilty plea, prosecutors dismissed several related charges, including armed robbery, first-degree assault, theft, use of handgun in the commission of a felony or crime of violence and reckless endangerment.
Sexton ordered Moore to serve three years of supervised probation after completing his three-year term in a Maryland Department of Corrections prison. The judge also ordered Moore to pay $50 in restitution to the victim.
Moore, who has an otherwise clean criminal record, confessed to Maryland State Police investigators after his arrest and later wrote the victim a letter of apology, according to the Cecil County State’s Attorney’s Office.
The armed robbery occurred on the night of Feb. 10, after Moore used a smartphone application to contact the Elkton Cab taxi service and make arrangements for a driver to pick him up on Ben Boulevard and to drive him to Willow Drive, both of which are Elkton-area locations, police said.
After arriving at Willow Drive, police added, Moore brandished a handgun, assaulted the driver and robbed him of money and personal property, before fleeing.
Investigators were able to identify Moore as the suspect, after interviewing the taxi driver and after delving into Moore’s use of the smartphone application to set up his taxi pick-up, MSP officials reported. MSP Det. John Wildman served as lead investigator.
MSP investigators took Moore into custody without incident at approximately 2 p.m. March 1 during a traffic stop on Willow Drive in the Winding Brook neighborhood off Fletchwood Road, northeast of Elkton, according to police.
After arresting Moore, investigators confiscated a handgun with an “obliterated serial number” while conducting court-approved searches of two Elkton-area residences, including one where, detectives believe, Moore had been staying, police said.
Although that seized handgun could not be connected to the robbery, investigators recovered a second weapon that they were able to link to the crime, police added.