For Immediate Release
Merrillville, Indiana Man Sentenced To 10 Years Imprisonment
For Robbery with a Dangerous Weapon
HAMMOND – Blake King, age 20, of Merrillville, Indiana, was sentenced by U.S. District Court Judge Joseph Van Bokkelen upon his plea of guilty to robbery with a dangerous weapon of a person with custody of money of the United States, announced United States Attorney Thomas L. Kirsch, II.
According to documents in this case, on June 7, 2018, in Gary, Indiana, the defendant, co-defendant Bernard Graham, and Raymon Truitt worked together on a scheme to fake gun sales to customers so they could rob the buyers. The defendant’s role in the robbery was to present the “buyers” with a bag supposedly filled with firearms but which was in fact filled with pots and pans. While this was occurring, Raymon Truitt utilized a firearm to rob the buyers, who were in fact ATF federal law enforcement agents, of $1,550 of United States currency. During this robbery, Truitt and Graham both opened fire on the agents and an ATF agent was wounded, placing his life in jeopardy.
Bernard Graham entered a plea of guilty on September 30, 2019, and is scheduled to be sentenced at a later date in 2020. Raymon Truitt was also wounded during the exchange of gunfire and died from his wounds.
King’s reckless, criminal actions resulted in the shooting of a law enforcement officer,” said U.S. Attorney Thomas L. Kirsch II. “Gun violence will not be tolerated. ATF, along with our federal, state and local law enforcement partners are dedicated to investigating, and my Office is dedicated to prosecuting these individuals who commit irresponsible criminal acts.”
“The dangers law enforcement face while investigating illegal gun crimes should never be taken for granted,” remarked ATF Special Agent in Charge Tim Jones of the Chicago Field Division. “We are grateful to the United States Attorney’s Office for their diligence in bringing these defendants to justice.”
This case was investigated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives with the assistance of Lake County High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area officers and agents, the Indiana State Police, and the Lake County Prosecutor’s Office. The case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Thomas McGrath, Thomas Mahoney, and Nicholas Padilla.