T Wo Detained In Federal Custody In Alleged Home Invasion, Hobbs Act Robbery Conspiracy
The Two Men Were Arrested Moments After Allegedly Taking Possession Of Firearms
PROVIDENCE, R.I. – Allen Prout, 42, of Providence, and Emmett Blyden, 43, of no known address, were ordered detained in federal custody today by U.S. District Court Magistrate Judge Patricia A. Sullivan on allegations that they conspired to commit an armed home invasion in Providence, where they were expecting to find two kilos of heroin and a large amount of cash, announced United States Attorney Peter F. Neronha and Daniel J. Kumor, Special Agent in Charge of the Boston Field Divisionof the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF).
The two men, both previously convicted of felony crimes, were arrested Friday evening moments after they allegedly took possession of firearms to be used in the planned robbery. The firearms, which had been rendered inoperable, were delivered by an individual who was assisting ATF agents.
According to an affidavit in support of a criminal complaint filed with the court, it is alleged that on June 2, 2014, an individual working with ATF agents advised ATF that Prout had contacted him and asked to set up a robbery for him and his crew. It is also alleged that he inquired about the availability of firearms to be used during the robbery. ATF agents instructed the individual to arrange meetings with Prout and his crew to discuss a fictitious scenario involving the robbery of two kilograms of heroin and a large amount of cash from a residence that was being used as storage site by narcotics traffickers.
According to the affidavit, over the next two days two meetings were held and several text messages were exchanged. On June 4, at the first of two meetings, it is alleged that details of the robbery and the availability of firearms were discussed. It is alleged that at that meeting, Prout inquired as to how many individuals would be at the location they planned to rob, stating that he was prepared to “lay them all down.” The meeting was electronically recorded.
At a subsequent meeting on June 6, with both Prout and Blyden in attendance, it is alleged that additional details of the robbery were discussed and the individual assisting ATF provided the firearms, as requested by Prout, to Prout and Blyden. Moments after the two men allegedly took possession of the firearms, ATF agents entered the meeting and took both men into custody. The meeting was electronically recorded.
Prout and Blyden are charged by way of a criminal complaint with conspiracy to commit Hobbs Act robbery; conspiracy to possess with the intent to distribute and distribute more than one kilogram of heroin; possession of a firearm in furtherance of a crime of violence; and being a felon in possession of firearms.
According to information presented to the court, Allen Prout’s felony record includes previous convictions for assault with the intent to commit a felony and larceny. Emmett Blyden’s felony record includes at least three previous drug trafficking convictions.
A criminal complaint is merely an allegation and is not evidence of guilt. A defendant is entitled to a fair trial in which it will be the government’s burden to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.
The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Milind M. Shah.
The Providence Police Department SWAT Team assisted ATF agents in the arrest of the defendants.
To assist the media and the public, a glossary of federal judicial terms and procedures is available at http://www.justice.gov/usao/justice101/