A federal judge this week sentenced a man to 27 years in prison for a carjacking that led to a high-speed chase in Anne Arundel County and ended with a crash at a security gate at the National Security Agency, the Maryland U.S. Attorney's Office said.
U.S. District Judge James K. Bredar sentenced Dontae Small, 44, in a downtown courtroom Tuesday, 2½ years after the chase that briefly closed the NSA to non-essential personnel and resulted in overnight search of the agency's grounds. Small gave himself up to authorities the next morning.
The judge also sentenced Small to two additional years for for aggravated identity theft committed by Small while he was in jail pending trial.
The incident at NSA began in a South Baltimore neighborhood on Oct. 4, 2015, when authorities said Small and two co-conspirators were riding in a white minivan looking for victims to rob. They assaulted a man on Grindall Street in Federal Hill and robbed him at gunpoint, taking the man's keys to a 2008 Acura TSX. Small and his co-conspirators fled in the car, and then stopped two other victims on Riverside Avenue, taking an iPhone that had fallen from one victim's pocket before fleeing, authorities said.
Small then drove the stolen Acura to Arundel Mills mall, where Anne Arundel County police identified the car as stolen and set up surveillance. When Small returned to the vehicle, officers attempted to arrest him, but Small drove over a curb in the parking lot. Prosecutors said he narrowly missed pedestrians when he sped away without the car's lights on.
Police followed Small to Fort Meade, where Small crashed the stolen car into a security gate outside the NSA campus, prosecutors said. Small then fled and hid in a nearby sewer for hours and was not found until he emerged the next morning. He was arrested after a brief foot chase and struggle, police said.
Fort Meade has returned to normal operations after the carjacking suspect responsible for a heightened security alert and the closure of several schools in the surrounding area was apprehended Thursday, police said.
Small previously pleaded guilty to bank fraud and identity theft charges, after authorities said he stole a correctional officer's credit card while he was jailed at the Baltimore City Detention Center. Authorities said he used the card to purchase items for him while at the jail and to pay for his wife's cellphone. She was also charged.
Small's attorney could not be reached for comment Wednesday morning.