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Man pleads guilty to service station robberies

Joshua Nathaniel Payne, 21, of Mount Airy, pleaded guilty in federal court August 6, 2014, to robbing four gas stations in the region and stealing a car in Carroll County in late 2013.
Joshua Nathaniel Payne, 21, of Mount Airy, pleaded guilty in federal court August 6, 2014, to robbing four gas stations in the region and stealing a car in Carroll County in late 2013. (Submitted photo, HANDOUT)

A Mount Airy man pleaded guilty in federal court Wednesday to robbing four gas stations in the region and stealing a car in Carroll County in late 2013.

Joshua Nathaniel Payne, 21, pleaded guilty to four counts of robbery and one count of using a firearm during a robbery in the U.S. District Court in Baltimore, according to a news release from the U.S. Attorney's Office.

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Between Nov. 27 and Dec. 1, Payne used a handgun to rob the Shell gas station in Mount Airy, the High's gas station in Eldersburg and the BP gas station in Lisbon, stealing hundreds of dollars from cash registers, according to the release.

On Dec. 6, Payne returned to a service station in Mount Airy and threatened a cashier with a long kitchen knife, according to the release.

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He also admitted to using a gun to steal a car in Sykesville Nov. 29 prior to the High's robbery in Eldersburg.

According to a Maryland State Police account of that incident, Payne approached a man sitting in a Nissan Maxima in the 7000 block of Harlan Lane and brandished a black semi-automatic handgun and ordered the driver out of the vehicle. Payne then entered the Nissan Maxima and drove away from the area.

Minutes later, the Westminster state police barrack received calls that an armed robbery had occurred at the High's convenience store, located at 6700 Sykesville Road, by a man matching a description in the car jacking, later identified as Payne.

Payne will be sentenced to 13 and one half years in prison if the court accepts the plea agreement, according to the release.

Reach staff writer Heather Cobun at 410-857-7898 or email heather.cobun@carrollcountytimes.com.

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