A suspect charged with the armed home invasion and robbery of a couple who had just returned from their honeymoon won $1 million in the Massachusetts Lottery in 2007.
Rashad Blount, 26, formerly of Middleboro and now of Dorchester, won the $1 million grand prize in the Lottery's $800 Million Spectacular instant game on Feb. 12, 2007.
He bought the $10 scratch ticket at a store in Middleboro and was to receive annual payments of $50,000, minus taxes, for the next 20 years.
Blount and Richard Booker, 26, of 41 Courtland St., Apt. 2, Middleboro, were arrested this week on charges stemming from the Sept. 29 armed home invasion of a Milford couple who had just returned from their honeymoon.
On the night of the home invasion, a suspect identified later as Blount came to the victim's door claiming he was delivering a pizza, police said.
Then, a second suspect, identified as Booker, entered the victim's home, saying he was a police officer. At some point, a third suspect, not yet identified, came on the scene, police said.
Ball said one of the suspects ordered the female victim to stay on the ground in the living room, while another forced the man to open the safe in the bedroom where money was stored, then tied him up.
Police say Blount brandished a silver-and-black semi-automatic handgun, and the trio robbed the newlyweds of $7,000 in cash and checks that were wedding gifts.
After the couple's honeymoon, the female victim identified one suspect on Facebook when mutual acquaintances made her suspicious that Blount and Booker might be involved in the robbery.
On Facebook, the victim said she "immediately identified Booker, Richard, as being one of the assailants," Milford Detective Jason Ball wrote in the police report. "She stated she also recognized Blount, Rashad, as one of the other men she saw before they put on their masks as they entered the apartment."
Police arrested Booker and Blount in Dorchester on Wednesday. The acquaintances have not been charged.
Blount and Booker were charged with home invasion, larceny from a building, burglary, assault with a firearm, possessing a firearm during a felony, armed and masked robbery, armed assault in a dwelling, conspiracy, possession of a firearm without identification or a license to carry — and for Booker, impersonation of a police officer.
At their arraignments in Milford District Court, not guilty pleas were entered on their behalf. They were ordered held without bail for a dangerousness hearing on Nov. 1.
If Blount is found guilty, a felony conviction won't affect his annual $50,000 payday, the lottery said.
"The lottery is obligated to pay out the total prize amount for the duration of its payment schedule unless the winner has a lien placed on the winnings or there is a court-ordered injunction directing the payments to go elsewhere," said spokesperson Beth Bresnahan.
It wasn't the first time a person linked to criminal acts won the lottery.
In August, former Brockton police chief Richard Sproules, of Whitman, won $1 million from a $10 ticket for the Mass Millionaire Mania game.
Sproules pleaded guilty in 1990 to larceny of cocaine from the police station, among other charges, and served 28 months in prison of a 7-to-10 year sentence. He now counsels those struggling with addiction.
South Boston mobster James "Whitey" Bulger and three others shared a $14.3 million MassMillions jackpot in 1991. Bulger's share was $1.9 million.
After Bulger fled from a federal racketeering indictment in 1995, the U.S. attorney seized the lottery winnings. He was arrested in June 2011 in California and is being held at the Plymouth County jail until his trial, scheduled for March, in connection with 19 murders.
Thanks to lottaballz for the tip.