HOME INVASION: Affluent man living in great neighborhood loses his criminal cherry in alleged armed gang intrusion to a home; Khalil Zalmai hires top criminal lawyer Robert Bonsib

BETHESDA, MD – Home invasion alleged perpetrators sometimes come from expensive neighborhoods in the suburbs of Washington, D.C.  

The Montgomery County Police Sleuths tracking down a group who raided a home in December of 2020 found one guy as a suspect, who lives in Silver Spring.  A second man was soon developed as a suspect and arrested in June.

THE MASTERMIND: Cops say he directed robbery from outside the victim’s home on street not far from his own


Detectives from the Major Crimes Division arrested and charged Khalil Powers Zalmai, 19, (DOB 1/3/2002) of 6627 River Road in Bethesda, Md., with home invasion and armed robbery-related offenses for the December 11, 2020, armed home invasion robbery that occurred in Bethesda.  Zalmai’s residence in the exclusive River Road area of Bethesda rents in the $5,000 a month range and is worth about $1.5 million, according to Zillow.  Fitting right in with the profile of wealthy residents of Montgomery County who run afoul of the law, was the selection of top criminal defense attorney Robert C. Bonsib, of Greenbelt to represent Zalmai in Montgomery District Court for a preliminary hearing on July 30, 2021.

Montgomery County Police Detective C. Horwitz obtained a warrant on June 8, 2021, and charged Zalmai with the following crimes:

  • Home Invasion
  • Conspiracy to commit home invasion
  • Armed Robbery
  • Conspiracy to commit Armed Robbery
  • And that old favorite in counties like Montgomery that preach doing away with the 2nd Amendment and leave citizens like the victims of this home invasion easy prey for criminals — Use of a firearm in a felony violent crime.

Jaylen Gary Hunter, 20, of 13606 Colgate Way in Silver Spring, was previously charged and arrested for crimes related to this armed home invasion robbery.  Investigators continue to work to identify two additional suspects in this crime.

On December 11, 2020, at approximately 8:44 p.m., officers responded to a residence in the 6500 block of Elgin Lane for the report of a home invasion that just occurred. The investigation determined that three male suspects, wearing masks and armed with handguns, entered the home. The suspects demanded money from the residents but fled without obtaining cash or property.

During the investigation, detectives identified Hunter as one of the suspects who entered the home. Zalmai was determined to have helped plan the home invasion robbery but did not enter the home.

On May 25, 2021, police detectives obtained an arrest warrant for Hunter charging him with home invasion, armed robbery, and the use of a firearm during the commission of a felony.

Hunter was arrested on the strength of the Montgomery County warrant on July 2, 2021, following indictments issued by the Grand Jury of the Circuit Court of Montgomery County.  Representing Hunter is attorney David A. Schiller, of Rockville, Md.  The next court date for Hunter is set for December 2, 2021.  Hunter was recently able to meet prosecutors and a Judge in Montgomery District Court on May 24, 2021, when he entered a guilty plea to carrying a concealed deadly weapon and was given a verdict of Probation Before Judgement with a $1,000 fine and a sentence of three years in prison with two years nine months and twenty-one days of the sentence suspended.  Hunter was given credit for sixty-nine days of time served in the hoosegow awaiting trial.  Court records reflect that Hunter was incarcerated on June 23, 2021, in connection with his new and improved alleged participation in criminal acts.

Zalmai was arrested on the strength of the Montgomery County warrant on July 6, 2021.  He was released after posting a $10,000 bond, after spending one night in the Montgomery County Jail.

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