Birmingham Man Pleads Guilty to Interference with Commerce by Robbery and Felon in Possession of a Firearm

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FILE PHOTO: Signage is seen at the United States Department of Justice headquarters in Washington, D.C.

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. – A Birmingham man has pleaded guilty to robbery and gun charges, announced U.S. Attorney Prim F. Escalona and Federal Bureau of Investigation Special Agent in Charge Johnnie Sharp, Jr.

Henry Sirnard Russell, 42, pleaded guilty this week before U.S. District Judge Anna M. Manasco to the charges of Interference with Commerce by Robbery and being a Felon in Possession of a Firearm.

He entered his plea pursuant to a binding Plea Agreement with the government, in which the parties jointly agreed to a sentence of 240 months (20 years) in prison. His sentencing is scheduled for October 26, 2022.

According to the Plea Agreement, on October 12, 2021, Hoover Police responded to the Chevron convenience store in Hoover.  The clerk of the store reported an armed male stole an undisclosed amount of money.  The clerk saw the suspect leave in a grey SUV, and the police issued a BOLO to surrounding agencies.  Vestavia Hills officers saw a vehicle matching the BOLO and conducted a traffic stop on the vehicle.  Henry Sirnard Russell was the sole occupant of the vehicle and appeared very nervous and was shaking.  Russell was asked to exit his vehicle, but he refused and drove away.  A short pursuit ensued, and Russell stopped his vehicle and fled on foot.  Various law enforcement agencies arrived on scene, set up a perimeter, used a drone, a K-9, and a helicopter to assist in locating Russell.  The search continued throughout the night until a Hoover Police Officer notified dispatch that he observed Russell on the northbound side of I-65 toward Hoover from Homewood.  Officers immediately converged on the area and Russell fled into the wood line where he was arrested.

“Federal and local law enforcement agencies prioritize resources on individuals and factors that drive violent crime in communities and that pose a continual threat to public safety,” said United States Attorney Prim F. Escalona. “People who persistently cause harm in our communities will receive the full attention of federal law enforcement.”

Russell has prior felony convictions for Domestic Violence, Assault (Second Degree), and Robbery (First and Second Degree).

FBI investigated the case along with the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office, Homewood Police Department, Hoover Police Department, and the Vestavia Hills Police Department. Assistant United States Attorney Darius Greene prosecuted the case.