UPDATE October 20, 2020: LA PLATA, MD—Tony Covington, State’s Attorney for Charles County, announced that on Thursday, October 15, 2020, Blake-Joshua Isaiah McKinney, 18, entered a guilty plea in Charles County Circuit Court to Robbery with a Dangerous Weapon. Following the plea, McKinney was sentenced by the Honorable Judge William R. Greer, Jr. to 20 years with all but 5 years suspended in prison. Upon release, McKinney will be on probation for a period of five years.

On December 6, 2019, officers responded to the CVS Pharmacy located in the 7000 block of Indian Head Highway in Bryans Road for the report of an armed robbery in progress. Upon arrival, officers discovered McKinney attempting to leave the store and blend in with other customers. McKinney and a juvenile co-defendant were apprehended at the scene.

An investigation revealed that prior to the robbery, McKinney and his juvenile co-defendant exited a black Nissan Maxima and entered the CVS with ski masks covering their faces. They proceeded to jump over the pharmacy counter and demand narcotics; however, the pharmacist was unable to open the safe. The suspects then started taking money from the cash registers. Throughout the robbery, McKinney was armed with a handgun.

An off-duty police officer was present in the store and became aware of the robbery. As the suspects were leaving, the officer identified himself as a police officer, drew his agency-issued firearm, and ordered them to stop. In response, both suspects fled to the rear of the pharmacy. The officer gave chase to the juvenile, who attempted to flee in the Nissan Maxima driven by co-defendant Alonzo Lamont Gholston. Gholston reached to pick up a handgun, prompting the officer to fire his weapon. However, no one was injured.

The juvenile was unsuccessful in his attempt to escape and was apprehended. During this time, McKinney shed his clothing in the store, hid the gun, and attempted to blend with other customers; however, he was also unsuccessful.

The Nissan Maxima was later identified and the driver, Gholston, was apprehended after a vehicle pursuit by an officer. It was discovered that the vehicle was reported stolen earlier in the day.

On September 18, 2020, Gholston entered a guilty plea in Charles County Circuit Court in front of the Honorable Judge H. James West to Conspiracy to Commit Armed Robbery. He was then sentenced to 10 years with all but 3 years suspended in prison. Upon release, he will be on supervised probation for a period of five years.

On December 6 at 4:41 p.m., officers were dispatched to an armed robbery in progress at a CVS located in the 7000 block of Indian Head Highway in Bryans Road, MD. 

A preliminary investigation revealed three suspects entered the business, one armed with a handgun, and demanded prescription medications and money. The staff complied. At that time, an off-duty federal police officer entered the store, unaware of the robbery in progress. An employee notified the officer who then took immediate action.

Two of the suspects fled and tried to enter a nearby car. As the officer tried to make the arrest, the driver reached for an object at which time, fearing for his life, the officer discharged his firearm. No one was struck and the driver fled. The other suspect ran back into the store.

Patrol officers arrived quickly and the two suspects were arrested on the scene. As other officers responded, they received a lookout for the vehicle in which the other suspect fled. 

A CCSO officer observed the suspect vehicle near Bensville Road. The driver crashed into a telephone pole and fled on foot but he was apprehended by the officer. A computer check revealed the car had been stolen during a carjacking in a nearby county earlier in the day. A loaded semi-automatic handgun with an extended ammunition magazine, ski masks and gloves were recovered.

The suspects, Alonzo Lamont Gholston, 18; Barry Tyson, 17; and Blake Joshua Isiah McKinney, 18, all of Washington, D.C., were charged with armed robbery, first-degree assault, second-degree assault, and other related charges.

Tyson was charged as an adult.

Anyone with additional information is asked to call Detective R. Johnson at (301) 932-2222. Tipsters wishing to remain anonymous may contact Charles County Crime Solvers at 1-866-411-TIPS. Tips can also be submitted online at www.charlescountycrimesolvers.com or by using the P3Intel mobile app. The investigation is ongoing. 

Bryans Road, MD- At 4:45 p.m. Friday, December 5, 2019, the Charles County Sheriff’s Office(CCSO) responded to the CVS Pharmacy in Bryand Road, MD for a reported Armed Robbery in progress.

Police were able to capture and arrest two suspects at the scene. a third suspect fled the scene in a vehicle but was captured a short time later after crashing the vehcile into a wooded area.

CCSO reports no injuries are involved in this incident. Police are still investigating the crime and will release more detail when available.

David M. Higgins II, Publisher/Editor

David M. Higgins was born in Baltimore and grew up in Southern Maryland. He has had a passion for journalism since high school. After spending many years in the Hospitality Industry he began working in...