News

Washington, D.C. Man Pleads Guilty To Robbing Banks And Possessing Child Pornography

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 26 , 2014

Greenbelt, Maryland – Devontae West, age 26, of Washington, D.C., pleaded guilty today to possession of child pornography and conspiracy to commit bank robbery.

The guilty plea was announced by United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Rod J. Rosenstein; Special Agent in Charge Stephen E. Vogt of the Federal Bureau of Investigation; and Chief Mark A. Magaw of the Prince George’s County Police Department.

According to his plea agreement, West and his co-conspirators stole vehicles to use during bank robberies, designated a co-conspirator to act as a getaway driver, wrote demand notes to present to bank tellers, used juveniles to enter the banks to demand money, used cell phones to maintain constant contact during the bank robberies and divided the proceeds of the bank robberies amongst themselves.

More specifically, on five occasions from March 20 to May 22, 2013, West and others, including juveniles, drove to the following bank branches where his conspirators stole a total of $14,598: SunTrust Bank in Clifton, District Heights and Forestville, Maryland; Capitol One Bank in Landover Hills, Maryland; and TD Bank in Washington, D.C. Also, on May 13, 2013 West and his conspirators drove to Capitol One Bank in Suitland, Maryland to rob the bank, but left without having obtained any money.

Additionally, on May 5, 2013 West had sex with a 15 year girl who he had directed to help him rob banks. West took eight pictures of the girl having sex with him. These pictures were on West’s cell phone when he was arrested.

As part of his plea agreement, West must register as a sex offender in the place where he resides, where he is an employee, and where he is a student, under the Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act (SORNA).

West and the government have agreed that if the Court accepts the plea agreement, West will be sentenced to 12 years in prison. Chief U.S. District Judge Deborah K. Chasanow has scheduled sentencing for June 16, 2014.

Co-conspirator Calvin Manning also pleaded guilty today to bank robbery. Manning admitted to robbing the Sun Trust Bank in District Heights on March 25, 2013, which is one of the bank robberies in which West participated. Manning faces a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison at his sentencing scheduled by Chief Judge Chasanow on June 2, 2014.

This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse. Led by the United States Attorneys' Offices and the Criminal Division's Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section, Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state, and local resources to locate, apprehend, and prosecute individuals who sexually exploit children, and to identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.justice.gov/psc. For more information about internet safety education, please visit www.justice.gov/psc and click on the "resources" tab on the left of the page.

United States Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein commended the FBI and Prince George’s County Police Department for their work in the investigation. Mr. Rosenstein thanked Special Assistant U.S. Attorney LisaMarie Freitas and Assistant U.S. Attorney Thomas Sullivan, who are prosecuting the case.

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