Former Prince George’s County Police Officer and Co-conspirator Indicted for Bank Break-in

November 16, 2009

Greenbelt, Maryland - A federal grand jury has indicted former Prince George’s County Police officer Eddie Lee Smith, Jr., age 41, of Fort Washington, Maryland, and Earl Blake, age 53, of Capitol Heights, Maryland, for conspiracy to commit bank larceny and attempted bank larceny, announced United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Rod J. Rosenstein.

Prince George’s County Police Chief Roberto L. Hylton stated, “We are thankful that the FBI and the U.S. Attorney have thoroughly investigated this case and brought it before the grand jury. We support due process and want the community to understand that the lack of integrity of one officer does not reflect the character of the rest of the officers working for the Prince George’s County Police Department. We are held accountable like all citizens and we hold ourselves to a higher standard.”

According to the two count indictment and other court documents, on June 10, 2009, Smith and Blake allegedly obtained a power saw and the telephone lines were cut at the SunTrust Bank in the 4600 block of Old Branch Avenue in Temple Hills, Maryland, to prepare for the break-in and attempted larceny of the bank. Smith allegedly drove Blake to the bank in his marked police cruiser. The indictment alleges that Blake took the saw and entered the bank while Smith remained in the police cruiser outside the bank. According to the indictment and other court documents, when Prince George’s County firefighters arrived after the bank’s fire alarm went off, Smith allegedly advised them to leave because he had already checked the bank and it was secure. According to court documents, Blake allegedly ran from the bank and was briefly chased by Smith, who then returned to his car and left the area. Blake was subsequently arrested by other Prince George’s County Police Department officers.

If convicted, Smith and Blake face a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison for attempted bank larceny and five years in prison for the conspiracy. No court appearance has been scheduled for the defendants.

An indictment is not a finding of guilt. An individual charged by indictment is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty at some later criminal proceedings.

United States Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein thanked the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Prince George’s County Police Department, the Prince George’s County Fire/EMS Department, and Prince George’s County State’s Attorney Glenn F. Ivey and his office for their work in this investigation and prosecution. Mr. Rosenstein commended Assistant United States Attorney Deborah A. Johnston, who is prosecuting the case.



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