News

Conspirator in Cumberland Home Invasion Robbery Sentenced to 10 Years in Prison

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 24, 2010

Baltimore, Maryland - U.S. District Judge Richard D. Bennett sentenced Kinnell Stith, age 30, of Cumberland, Maryland, today to 10 years in prison followed by three years of supervised release for conspiracy to commit armed commercial robbery.

The sentence was announced by United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Rod J. Rosenstein; Special Agent in Charge Joseph Riehl of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives - Baltimore Field Division; Allegany County Bureau of Police Chief J. Robert Dick; Cumberland Police Chief Charles H. Hinnant; and Colonel Terrence Sheridan, Superintendent of the Maryland State Police. Mr. Rosenstein thanked the Allegany Combined County Criminal Investigations (C3I), for their assistance in this investigation and prosecution.

According to Stith’s plea agreement, on June 24, 2008, Danny Jones and Ray Blanks traveled from Petersburg, Virginia to Cumberland to commit a robbery. During the trip, Blanks and Jones were communicating by phone with Kinnell Stith, a cousin of Jones who lived in Cumberland. When they arrived in Maryland, they met with Stith at a gas station. Stith told Blanks and Jones that a drug dealer in the area had a significant amount of money and drugs in his home and that the back door of the house was always left open. Stith knew this because he also sold drugs and sometimes shared supply with the drug dealer. Stith gave them the address of the home and told them where they could retrieve a gun that belonged to Stith so they could use the gun in the robbery. Blanks and Jones went to the home and Blanks awakened one of the residents who was sleeping in the back bedroom by tapping a gun on his chest. Blanks and Jones, who was also armed, demanded to know where the money and drugs were kept and asked for the drug dealer, who also lived at that residence. They took the resident at gunpoint to look for money and drugs in several rooms, finally forcing the resident to lie face down on the floor. A female resident of the home returned and was accosted by Jones and Blanks. Jones had put on a ski mask to conceal his face. The two men demanded money and drugs, finally taking a roll of 19 $2 bills from the woman’s bedroom and taking cocaine and cash that they found on the woman. The two demanded that the woman call the drug dealer, who was her boyfriend, and tell him to come home. The drug dealer returned to the home at about 7 a.m. and was pistol whipped by Jones and Blanks, who again demanded money and drugs. The drug dealer was able to retrieve his hand gun and fired two shots at Jones and Blanks inside the house, as they fled out the back door. Jones and Blanks ran as the drug dealer followed them outside, continuing to fire his gun, striking Jones in the leg and buttocks, with that bullet eventually passing to his abdomen. Jones and Blanks fled to a waiting car.

The car was subsequently stopped by law enforcement and Blanks and Jones were arrested. Blanks was searched and police recovered the cocaine and cash taken from the woman resident of the house and the 19 $2 bills taken from the woman’s bedroom. Police also saw in plain view in the car, the ski mask, later identified as the one worn by Jones, and a pair of brown cloth gloves.

Ray Blanks, age 29 and Danny Jones, age 25, both of Petersburg, Virginia, were convicted after trial and each sentenced to 20 years in prison for their roles in the robbery.

United States Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein commended Assistant U.S. Attorneys A. David Copperthite and Peter M. Nothstein, who prosecuted the case.

 

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