GREENBELT, MARYLAND — Chief U.S. District Judge Deborah K. Chasanow sentenced Devontae West, age 26, of Washington, D.C., to 12 years in prison, followed by 15 years of supervised release, for possession of child pornography and conspiracy to commit bank robbery. Chief Judge Chasanow ordered that upon his release from prison, West must register as a sex offender in the place where he resides, where he is an employee, and where he is a student, under the Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act.
The sentence was announced by U.S. Attorney for the District of Maryland Rod J. Rosenstein, Special Agent Stephen E. Vogt of the FBI, and Chief Mark A. Magaw of the Prince George’s County Police Department.
According to his plea agreement, West and his co-conspirators stole vehicles to use during bank robberies, designated a co-conspirator to act as a getaway driver, wrote demand notes to present to bank tellers, used juveniles to enter the banks to demand money, used cell phones to maintain constant contact during the bank robberies, and divided the proceeds of the bank robberies amongst themselves.
More specifically, on five occasions from March 20 to May 22, 2013, West and others, including juveniles, drove to the following bank branches where his conspirators stole a total of $14,598: SunTrust Bank in Clifton, District Heights, and Forestville, Maryland; Capitol One Bank in Landover Hills, Maryland; and TD Bank in Washington, D.C. Also, on May 13, 2013, West and his conspirators drove to Capitol One Bank in Suitland, Maryland, to rob the bank but left without having obtained any money.
Additionally, on May 5, 2013, West had sex with a 15-year-girl whom he had directed to help him rob banks. West took eight pictures of the girl having sex with him. These pictures were on West’s cell phone when he was arrested.
Co-conspirator Calvin Manning also pleaded guilty to bank robbery. Manning admitted to robbing the Sun Trust Bank in District Heights on March 25, 2013, which is one of the bank robberies in which West participated. Chief Judge Chasanow sentenced Manning on June 12, 2014, to four years in prison.
This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse.