Men charged in Washington area bank robberies were monitored by FBI

January 2
REGIONAL
3 men charged with armed bank robbery

Federal prosecutors have charged three men who they say robbed an Arlington bank on New Year’s Eve — not knowing FBI agents were watching them as suspects in a spate of recent bank holdups.

The men were arrested just a block from the Wells Fargo bank on George Mason Drive by police and FBI agents who were ready for the most recent robbery, and investigators found a Glock pistol and lots of cash on them and in their car, according to an affidavit made public Thursday. The three — James McNeal, 63, of Hyattsville, Md.; James Link, 56, of, Washington; and Alphonso Stoddard, 59, of Forest Heights, Md. — have been charged with armed bank robbery, authorities said.

FBI Special Agent Rachel Taylor Wolford wrote in court papers that even before the trio robbed the Wells Fargo on New Year’s Eve, a confidential informant had linked them to at least four other area bank robberies or attempted bank robberies in recent months: the Oct. 29 robbery of a Wells Fargo in Rockville, the Oct. 30 robbery of a Bank of Georgetown in Vienna, the Nov. 25 robbery of a different Wells Fargo in Arlington County and the Dec. 10 robbery of a TD Bank in Northeast Washington.

Federal authorities were tipped off to the trio by a confidential informant in mid-December and began surveilling them — even watching as they seemed to scout two banks in Arlington on Dec. 27, according to the affidavit. On New Year’s Eve, a SWAT team was in position near the Wells Fargo, authorities said.

— Matt Zapotosky

MARYLAND
Man charged in killing of his mother’s fiance

Prince George’s County police arrested a man who they suspect fatally shot his stepfather-to-be during a dispute Wednesday in Clinton.

Police say D’Juan Renay Hunter, 38, of Southeast Washington was visiting family on New Year’s Day when he got into a confrontation with Raymond Quattlebaum, 52, who was engaged to Hunter’s mother. Police say Hunter shot Quattlebaum in his home in the 9100 block of Goldfield Place.

Hunter ran from the scene, but police found him in Bowie on Thursday morning, officials said. He faces first-degree murder and related charges.

Quattlebaum’s death was one of two homicides reported in Prince George’s on Jan. 1. County police are also investigating the fatal shooting of Vondrell Smith, 28, whom police found at the 5500 block of Karen Elaine Drive in New Carrollton about 4:30 a.m.

Smith, who police said was shot in the chest, was taken to Prince George’s Hospital Center, where he died. New Carrollton police handed the investigation over to the county’s homicide unit. Police have said Smith’s death appears to be related to a domestic incident.

— Lynh Bui and Rachel Weiner

VIRGINIA
Ex-teacher sentenced for conduct with girls

A former teacher at T.C. Williams High School in Alexandria will spend one year in jail for taking indecent liberties with two juveniles.

Stephen Miarer, 38, was sentenced in Alexandria Circuit Court to 10 years of incarceration, with nine suspended on the condition of good behavior and five years of probation. He must complete a sex offender program, and he cannot have contact with either of the victims in the case or unsupervised contact with any child but his own.

“The defendant used his position as a teacher to sexually exploit several students,” Assistant Commonwealth’s Attorney Cathryn Evans said in a statement.

According to the indictment, Miarer sexually propositioned two female students who were younger than 18, one in the spring of 2012 and another that winter. He was terminated by Alexandria City Public Schools in June, when the allegations came to light, and pleaded guilty in November.

— Rachel Weiner

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