Armed Bank Robber Sentenced to over 19 Years in Prison

Threatened a Bank Employee With a Long Knife and
Drove Away in the Employee’s Car With the Stolen $50,580

June 7, 2011

Greenbelt, Maryland - U.S. District Judge Roger W. Titus sentenced Elijah Leroy Neal, age 35, of Washington, D.C., today to 235 months in prison, followed by five years of supervised release, for armed bank robbery. Judge Titus also ordered that Neal pay restitution of $50,580.

The sentence was announced by United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Rod J. Rosenstein; Special Agent in Charge Richard A. McFeely of the Federal Bureau of Investigation; Acting Chief Mark Magaw of the Prince George’s County Police Department; and Chief Michael Taborn of the Metro Transit Police Department.

According to Neal’s plea agreement, on January 30, 2006 at around 5:00 a.m., Neal broke into the First Liberty National Bank at 3030 Queens Chapel Road in Hyattsville, Maryland through a side window. Neal hid behind a desk until a bank employee arrived at around 8:00 a.m. While brandishing a knife with a blade approximately 10 to 12 inches long, Neal grabbed the bank employee and ordered her to open the bank vault. When the bank employee replied that she could not open the vault, Neal threatened to stab her and told her that he was infected with the AIDS virus. When the bank employee again said she was unable to open the vault, Neal ordered her to open a lockbox. The bank employee complied and Neal took $50,580 from the lockbox. Neal then forced the bank employee to the floor and bound her arms behind her back with duct tape. Neal stole the bank employee’s keys and drove away from the bank in her car with the stolen money.

On October 27, 1997, Neal pled guilty to robbing the same bank, which was then a branch of Enterprise Federal Savings Bank. According to the plea agreement, on July 15, 1997, Neal entered the bank and approached the teller window. Neal then handed the teller a note that stated, “This is a robbery, I have a gun in the bag, fill the three envelopes with 100’s, 50’s and 20 dollar bills only. If you fail to do so in the next 20 seconds, I will shoot and kill the first co-workers and customers I see.” The teller gave Neal $1,740.00 in cash from her drawer. Neal fled the bank on foot. U.S. District Judge Peter Messitte sentenced Neal to 78 months in prison for this offense, followed by three years of supervised release.

United States Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein commended the FBI, the Prince George’s County Police Department and the Metro Transit Police Department for their work in the investigation. Mr. Rosenstein thanked Assistant United States Attorney Robert K. Hur, who prosecuted the case.

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