Two Face Federal Hobbs Act Conspiracy, Robbery And Firearm Charges In Alleged West Warwick Home Invasion
PROVIDENCE, R.I. – Criminal complaints unsealed in federal court in Providence today allege that two Providence men, Kiplagatt Stewart, 43, and Allen D. Prout, 42, conspired to and participated in an armed Hobbs Act robbery home invasion in West Warwick in September 2012, during which approximately $14,000 in cash was stolen and one of the alleged intruders was shot.
Stewart was arrested earlier today at his Providence residence by agents and officers from the Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), including members of an ATF Special Response Team, Providence and West Warwick Police Departments, and the Rhode Island State Police.
Prout has been detained in federal custody since June 6, 2014, on a criminal complaint charging him with allegedly participating in a Hobbs Act conspiracy to commit an armed home invasion in Providence, where he was expecting to find two kilos of cocaine. He was arrested by ATF agents and the Providence Police Department SWAT team moments after he and a co-defendant, Emmett Blyden, 43, allegedly took possession of firearms allegedly to be used in the planned home invasion.
The criminal complaint unsealed in U.S. District Court today is announced by United States Attorney Peter F. Neronha; Daniel J. Kumor, Special Agent in Charge of the Boston Field Divisionof ATF; Rhode Island Attorney General Peter F. Kilmartin; West Warwick Police Chief Colonel Richard G. Silva; Providence Police Chief Colonel Hugh T. Clements, Jr.; and, Colonel Steven G. O’DonnellSuperintendent of the Rhode Island State Police.
According to an affidavit filed with the court in support of criminal complaints and arrest warrants for Stewart and Prout, it is alleged that on September 3, 2012, West Warwick Police responded to reports of shots fired in the Providence Street area. Upon investigation, officers learned of an alleged home invasion during which it is alleged that two armed men robbed an individual of approximately $14,000 in cash, money the victim told police was to have been used for the purchase of oxycodone.
According to the affidavit, the victim told police he was assaulted and that a gun was held to his head during the incident. According to the victim, as the intruders fled his residence he retrieved a firearm and fired, striking Stewart in the buttocks as he entered a vehicle. Two women and several children in the residence at the time of the incident were not injured.
During the course of the investigation, West Warwick Police identified Kiplagatt Stewart as one of the alleged intruders and arrested him on state charges on September 7, 2012. At the time of his arrest it was determined that a bullet was lodged in Stewart. He was presented in state court by the Attorney General’s office as a probation violator on a previous conviction for armed robbery. He was sentenced to serve 18 months in state prison as a probation violator.
As the investigation progressed, West Warwick Police identified Allen Prout as the second individual who allegedly participated in the home invasion. He was arrested on state charges on October 16, 2012, while at the Cranston residence of his girlfriend.
The criminal complaint unsealed today charges Stewart and Prout with one count each of Hobbs Act conspiracy, Hobbs Act robbery, and use of a firearm in furtherance of a crime of violence. If convicted of these charges, the defendants face statutory sentences of up to life in federal prison.
Stewart was ordered detained in federal custody following his initial appearance before U.S. District Court Magistrate Judge Patricia A. Sullivan. Prout has been detained in federal custody since his arrest on June 6.
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. Attorney Milind M. Shah.
Rhode Island State Police assisted with the processing of evidence collected in this matter.This case was brought as part of the Rhode Island Urban Violent Crime Initiative. The Rhode Island Urban Violent Crime Initiative is a local, state and federal law enforcement collaboration to proactively identify, investigate and prosecute individuals responsible for crimes of violence in urban neighborhoods.
To assist the media and the public, a glossary of federal judicial terms and procedures is available at http://www.justice.gov/usao/justice101/