News and Press Releases

Sixth Defendant Pleads Guilty in Plot to Rob Florida PNC Banks at Gunpoint

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 28, 2014

Wifredo A. Ferrer, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Florida, George L. Piro, Special Agent in Charge, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Miami Field Office, John A. Bolduc, Chief, Port St. Lucie Police Department, Ken J. Mascara, St. Lucie County Sheriff’s Office, Sean Baldwin Chief, Ft. Pierce Police Department, J. Michelle Morris, Chief, Sebastian Police Department, Deryl Loar, Sheriff, Indian River Sheriff’s Office, announce that Joe JR Desilien, 24, of West Palm Beach, pled guilty yesterday to conspiracy to interfere with commerce by robbery, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 1951(a); interfering with commerce by robbery, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Sections 1951(a) and 2; and, using and carrying a firearm in furtherance of a crime of violence, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Sections 924(c)(1)(A)(ii)and 2. Sentencing has been set for July 14, 2014 before U.S. District Judge Jose E. Martinez, in Ft. Pierce.

At sentencing, Desilien faces up to 20 years in prison, followed by a term of supervised release of up to five years and a fine of up to $250,000 for the conspiracy to interfere with commerce by robbery charge, and for the interfering with commerce by robbery charge; and, a mandatory minimum of seven years, consecutive to any sentence imposed, and may impose a statutory maximum term of life imprisonment, followed by a term of supervised release of up to five years and a fine of up to $250,000 for the charge of using and carrying a firearm in furtherance of a crime of violence.

According to court documents, between June 8, 2013 and July 8, 2013, employees of five PNC bank branches, located in the counties of Indian River, Volusia, Hillsborough, and St. Lucie Counties, were robbed at gunpoint by three black males, whose faces were covered, wearing gloves. In all of the robberies, one male would brandish a handgun, and two males would jump the tellers’ counters demanding money.

On June 20, 2013, at approximately 9:50 a.m., three black males entered the PNC Bank, at 1090 Dunlawton Avenue, Port Orange, Volusia County, Florida with faces covered and wearing gloves. One male brandished a firearm at bank employees, two jumped the teller counters, and demanded and took United States currency. The three males were picked up by a fourth, driving a stolen Blue Jeep, which was found abandoned nearby. Anthony Isaac Johnson, Paul Edward Moore, and Alan Demetrius Bradford remained in cellular phone contact with one another before and after the robbery.

On July 1, 2013, at approximately 9:50 a.m., three black males entered the PNC Bank, at 12951 Dale Mabry Highway, Tampa, Hillsborough County, Florida, with faces covered, wearing gloves. One male brandished a firearm at the bank employees and two males jumped the teller counters, with another remaining in the lobby area. They demanded and took United States currency. The three males fled the bank in a stolen Dodge Intrepid. While in the area of the PNC bank and the site the vehicle was stolen, Raven Simone Sayers and Bradford remained in cellular phone contact with each other. The stolen vehicle was abandoned in a housing development near the PNC bank. On this date, Sayers was in possession of a leased vehicle.

According to court documents, during the night of July 7, 2013, into the early morning hours of July 8, 2013, Sayers, Ivory Lee Robinson, Tomaleesha Jeffie Laqua McKeliver, Moore, Desilien, Herbert Lenorris Smith, Jr., Johnson, and Bradford, planned and agreed to rob two St. Lucie County PNC banks at gun point. In order to carry out the two robberies, the group separated into two teams. The plan was for each team to have a female as a getaway driver and three males. Sayers and McKeliver agreed to be the robbery getaway drivers. Each team would steal a van, rob each of the banks at gunpoint, with their faces covered, leave the bank in the van, and transfer into the getaway vehicles, in order to flee the area. Sayers and McKeliver drove rental cars. The two teams travelled from Palm Beach County to St. Lucie County in the two rented cars. While en route, the two teams remained in cellular phone contact with one another. Once in St. Lucie County, the teams scouted PNC Banks and escape routes and stole two vans in Ft. Pierce for use in the two bank robberies.

Later on July 8, 2013, between 9:00 and 9:30 a.m., St Lucie County PNC Banks located at 5493 NW St. James Drive, Port St. Lucie, and 4156 Okeechobee Road, Fort Pierce, were robbed at gunpoint, almost simultaneously. After the Ft. Pierce and Port St. Lucie PNC bank robberies, McKeliver, Johnson, Robinson and Bradford were arrested after a police pursuit, and Moore was arrested near the bank. Law enforcement eventually identified, located, arrested and charged Sayers, Smith, and Desilien, who escaped back to Palm Beach County.

Previously sentenced in this case were Robinson, 22, and McKeliver, 22, both of West Palm Beach, by U.S. District Judge Donald L. Graham. Robinson, a career offender, was sentenced to 262 months in prison, followed by five years of supervised release on February 27, 2014; McKeliver was sentenced to 102 months in prison, followed by three years of supervised release on December 16, 2013. Sayers, 23, of Hallandale, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Jose E. Martinez to 162 months in prison, followed by three years of supervised release on March 11, 2014.

Smith pled guilty on January 29, 2014 to two counts of interference with commerce by robbery (Hobbs Act), in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 1951(a) and 2, and one count of using and carrying a firearm in furtherance of a crime of violence, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 924(c)(1)(A)(ii)and 2. Sentencing for Smith has been set for May 21, 2014 before U.S. District Judge Jose E. Martinez in Ft. Pierce.

Bradford pled guilty on February 4, 2014 to conspiracy to interfere with commerce by robbery, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 1951(a); two counts of interfering with commerce by robbery, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Sections 1951(a) and 2; two counts of using and carrying a firearm in furtherance of a crime of violence, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Sections 924(c)(1)(A)(ii)and 2; and, felon in possession of a firearm, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Sections 922(g)(1) and 2. Sentencing for Bradford has been set for May 22, 2014 before U.S. District Judge Jose E. Martinez in Ft. Pierce.

A jury trial for the remaining defendants, Moore and Johnson, is set for May 19, 2014 before U.S. District Judge Jose E. Martinez in Ft. Pierce.

Mr. Ferrer commended the investigative efforts of the FBI, Port St. Lucie Police Department, Ft. Pierce Police Department, Sebastian Police Department, St. Lucie County Sheriff’s Office, Indian River Sheriff’s Office, Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office, Port Orange Police Department, and Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office for their work on this case. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Carmen Lineberger

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A copy of this press release may be found on the website of the United States Attorney's Office for the Southern District of Florida at http://www.usdoj.gov/usao/fls. Related court documents and information may be found on the website of the District Court for the Southern District of Florida at http://www.flsd.uscourts.gov or on http://pacer.flsd.uscourts.gov.

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