When you are charged with robbing a bank, that is a federal crime. There is no way around it. All banks are federally insured, which means the perfectly planned bank heist can end up with the federal government and its agressive and skilled prosecutors gunning for you.
A man in Apopka, FL, can attest to this.
This past Tuesday, he was sentenced by an Orange County federal judge to 30 years and one month in a federal prison. He received the federal prison sentence for two counts of bank robbery with assault and two counts of using and carrying a firearm during and in relation to a crime of violence.
That's not even the end of his punishment.
He was also ordered by the court to serve a two-year term of supervision following his prison sentence. He was also forced to forfeit the 9mm Glock pistol and 17 rounds of ammunition used in the crimes, which didn't come as a shock.
So how did it all go so wrong for him? According to the testimony and evidence presented at his trial, he robbed the same Chase Bank on three separate occasions in a nine-month period. He got away with $18,000 in those three robberies. Each time he rushed into the bank wearing a ski mask to cover his face and pointed his gun at bank employees and customers, demanding cash from the tellers.
He kept getting away with it at first, because each time he fled the bank he covered his license plate. He was also clever enough to place a Domino's sign on top of his car.
Your robbery in 30 minutes or less?
He slipped up on the third robbery when he used a temporary tag associated with his own vehicle to cover his license plate.
Police ended up arresting him near his home not far after the third bank heist. Making his defense even more difficult was when police saw his vehicle and uncovered his ski mask, his handgun, and wads of thousands in cash he had stolen from the banks.
Depending on the weapons used or the violence inflicted, a bank robbery may be charged as a Class A, B, or C felony. When someone is in this situation, the defense team has to do their best to try and disprove the government's case. Sometimes, if things swing your way, the defense can negotiate with the prosecution for reduced charges and sentencing.