A Portland man who is a brother of a convicted bank robber was arrested Friday by federal authorities who accused him of having some of the more than $10,000 that his brother stole but which had never been recovered.

Alfred Odong, a 20-year-old sophomore at the University of Maine at Farmington, made his initial appearance in U.S. District Court in Portland on Friday afternoon on a charge of possession of stolen bank proceeds. Magistrate Judge John Rich III ordered him temporarily held pending a detention hearing Monday.

Odong’s older brother, Jimmy Odong, robbed a KeyBank branch on Main Street in Freeport last July 17. The elder Odong, 25, pulled out a handgun, demanded cash and escaped with $11,759 in cash that was stained red from an exploding dye pack, according to federal court records.

Jimmy Odong was arrested less than a week after the robbery with $1,180 in cash on him, but the remainder of the stolen money was not recovered, FBI Agent Christopher Peavey said in an affidavit filed with the court in Alfred Odong’s case.

Then, on Dec. 17, Alfred Odong was getting a ride home from the Farmington campus from another brother, Bosco Odong, in a gold-colored Buick when they got into a crash while heading south on Interstate 95 near Augusta. Maine State Police had received a complaint before the crash that a Buick had been traveling in an erratic manner, Peavey wrote in the affidavit.

A police dog indicated the presence of drugs in the trunk of the car, and state troopers discovered a black suitcase inside containing a mason jar with marijuana and a black trash bag containing $3,303 in cash that was stained with red dye, the affidavit says.

Police arrested Alfred Odong at the scene of the crash on drug charges and seized the money, but they did not initially charge him in connection with the cash.

Days later, the FBI examined the seized cash and found three $20 bills with serial numbers that had been recorded by KeyBank before the robbery, Peavey wrote.

The FBI also listened to recorded phone calls between Jimmy Odong at the Cumberland County Jail in Portland talking to Alfred Odong about the money. Their conversation was spoken in a mix of English and Arabic, in which Alfred Odong told Jimmy Odong about the crash and the drugs, according to the affidavit.

“Alfred further explained in English that the police also found something else in the backpack, referring to the cash seized by the troopers. Jimmy asked, ‘How much?’ Alfred said it was ‘over five.’ Jimmy asked, ‘Over $500?’ Alfred said, ‘No, over five G’s.” Jimmy asked, ‘Whose five G’s was it? … My money?’ Alfred said, ‘Yes,’ ” Peavey wrote in the affidavit.

Alfred Odong was a sprinter at Portland High School before graduating in 2013. He is listed on the UMF website on the track and field team roster as a sophomore.

If convicted, Alfred Odong faces up to 10 years in federal prison and a fine of as much as $250,000.

Jimmy Odong pleaded guilty to the bank robbery charge on Jan. 20. He is scheduled to be sentenced before U.S. District Judge Nancy Torresen on June 15. He faces up to 20 years in federal prison and a fine of as much as $250,000.

Scott Dolan can be contacted at 791-6304 or at:

[email protected]

Twitter: scottddolan


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