"Bad Cop" Bust: Officer Pleads Guilty in Bank Robbery

View Comments (
)
|
Email
|
Print

    NEWSLETTERS

    TK
    Shutterstock

    A former Prince George's County Police officer accused of ordering an accomplice to break into a bank pleaded guilty in the case on Tuesday.

    The U.S. Attorney's Office for the District of Maryland said former officer Eddie Lee Smith Jr. entered the plea as part of a deal with prosecutors.

    According the the plea bargain, Smith met with an accomplice named Earl Blake on June 9, 2009, and drove Blake to a SunTrust Bank branch in Temple Hills in his police cruiser. Smith reportedly gave Blake a power saw and other tools to break into the bank's ATM safe, which contained about $40,500. 

    Smith waited in his cruiser, in uniform, near the bank, while Blake started to cut the safe open, according to the plea agreement. A fire alarm went off during the attempted heist, and when firefighters responded, then-Officer Smith allegedly tried to assure firefighters that the building was secure. Smith ended up leaving the scene without any further contact with fire officials or his dispatcher, according to authorities.

    Prince George's County Chief of Police Roberto Hylton on Tuesday said he's looking forward to Smith's swift prosecution.

    "Bad cops have no place in our profession," Hylton said. "I absolutely will not tolerate wrongdoing by any member of this agency."

    Both Blake and Smith were eventually arrested in the robbery attempt. Smith, 42, pleaded guilty to breaking into a bank with intent to commit felony bank larceny. He faces a maximum of 20 years in prison, with sentencing scheduled for October. Blake, 53, pleaded guilty to the same charge and will be sentenced in August.