Three Area Men Charged After Armed Robbery of Arlington Bank
Subjects Allegedly Involved in Multiple Robberies in Maryland, Virginia, and Washington, D.C.
|U.S. Attorney’s Office January 02, 2014|
ALEXANDRIA, VA—James McNeal, 63, of Hyattsville, Maryland; James Link, 56, of Washington, D.C.; and Alphonso Stoddard, 59, of Forest Heights, Maryland, were charged today by criminal complaint with armed bank robbery.
Dana J. Boente, Acting United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia; Valerie Parlave, Assistant Director in Charge of the FBI’s Washington Field Office; and M. Douglas Scott, Arlington County Chief of Police, made the announcement after the initial appearance of defendants Link and Stoddard before United States Magistrate Judge John F. Anderson.
The defendants each face a maximum penalty of 25 years’ imprisonment if convicted.
According to court documents and court proceedings today, the FBI received information in December 2013 that McNeal, Link, and Stoddard had been responsible for the armed robberies of multiple banks in the Washington metropolitan area. After identifying the subjects, the FBI kept the three men under close surveillance, which included observing the defendants as they cased banks in Arlington, Virginia for potential robberies.
On December 31, 2013, FBI agents followed the three subjects as they drove from Maryland to a Wells Fargo bank branch in Arlington. At approximately 1:15 p.m., Link and Stoddard entered the bank with their faces covered. Link brandished a gun and pointed it at individuals in the bank, while Stoddard jumped the teller counter and removed approximately $47,000 in cash from teller drawers. The two men exited the bank and returned to their vehicle, where McNeal was waiting.
As the three subjects attempted to flee the scene, FBI and Arlington County Police apprehended them approximately one block away. A handgun and cash were found in the vehicle. A search of McNeal’s house in Hyattsville, Maryland, led to the discovery of additional firearms, gloves, and items of clothing that are believed to be linked to previous bank robberies.
The investigation was conducted by the FBI’s Washington Field Office, with the assistance of the FBI’s Baltimore Division and the Fairfax County and Arlington County Police departments. The United States Attorney’s Offices for the District of Columbia and the District of Maryland also provided assistance in the investigation. Assistant United States Attorney Adam B. Schwartz is prosecuting the case on behalf of the United States.
Criminal complaints are only charges and not evidence of guilt. A defendant is presumed to be innocent until and unless proven guilty.
A copy of this press release may be found on the website of the United States Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Virginia at http://www.justice.gov/usao/vae.