News and Press Releases

MAN SENTENCED TO OVER 22 YEARS FOR ARMED BANK ROBBERY
OF FIRST FINANCIAL BANK IN EL DORADO

 



FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 14, 2014

 






El Dorado, Arkansas - Conner Eldridge, United States Attorney for the Western District of Arkansas, announced today that Aaron Blaylock was sentenced today for armed bank robbery of First Financial Bank in El Dorado. Blaylock, 33 of Lancaster, California was also ordered to pay $53,402.61 in restitution and ordered to serve 5 years of supervised release on each count. The other three co-defendants in this case, Eric Johnson, Chelsea Purdue, and Jessica Harmon were all previously sentenced; the total sentence for all four defendants was 36.75 years in prison. Each of the sentences took place before the Honorable Harry F. Barnes in the United States District Court for the Western District of Arkansas.

U.S. Attorney Eldridge commented, “Crimes such as this take a toll on innocent victims and our communities in general. Those who would use firearms in furtherance of robberies place lives at risk and, at a minimum, wreak havoc on the individuals that are put in harm’s way. Working together as law enforcement and prosecutors, we will do all we can to bring those who commit these crimes to justice. I appreciate the officers, agents, and prosecutors who worked to see that done in this case.”

"Today's sentence sends a strong message to would-be robbers who are desperate for what they think is quick, easy access to money," stated FBI Special Agent in Charge David T. Resch. "With the public’s help, we in law enforcement will continue to work together to rapidly identify, arrest, and prosecute those who choose to commit these crimes."

According to court records, on December 30, 2011, Aaron Blaylock and Eric Johnson robbed First Financial Bank in El Dorado. Blaylock and Johnson approached while the tellers were in the process of refilling the ATM with cartridges that contained $50,440. The entire amount of this money was taken. A firearm was brandished in the robbery. After the robbery, Blaylock and Johnson drove to a meeting place where Chelsea Perdue and Jessica Harmon were waiting with a different vehicle. Later that evening the four individuals drove to Little Rock. Blaylock and Johnson flew to Las Vegas on December 31, 2011. Perdue and Harmon subsequently met them in Las Vegas three days later. Perdue and Harmon later turned themselves in to authorities in El Dorado, and Blaylock and Johnson were subsequently arrested in Las Vegas on January 31, 2012, by the Las Vegas Fugitive Task Force.

On April 8, 2013, Blaylock pleaded guilty to one count of aiding and abetting in armed robbery and one count of using a firearm in furtherance of crime of violence. Eric Johnson also pleaded guilty to the same charge on March 4, 2013 and was sentenced to 135 months in prison. Chelsea Purdue, an employee of the bank that had previously been let go, and Jessica Harmon each pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit bank robbery on March 4, 2013. Both were sentenced on October 23, 2013; Perdue was sentenced to 51 months in prison and Harmon
was sentenced to 33 months in prison. Johnson, Perdue, and Harmon were also each ordered to pay $53,402.61 in restitution.

This case was investigated by the FBI, the El Dorado Police Department, and the Union County Sheriff’s Office. Assistant United States Attorney Mark Webb prosecuted the case for the United States.

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The Office of U.S. Attorney
Conner Eldridge
 
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