News and Press Releases


West Palm Beach Resident Sentenced in Treasure Coast Bank Robbery Spree

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 21, 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, and Deryl Loar, Sheriff, Indian River Sheriff’s Office, announce that Herbert Lenorris Smith, Jr., 37, of West Palm Beach, was sentenced May 20, 2014 by U.S. District Judge Jose E. Martinez to 17 years in prison.

Smith previously pled guilty on January 29, 2014, to two counts of interfering with commerce by robbery, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 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.

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 males, whose faces were covered and were 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 males entered the PNC Bank in Port Orange, Volusia County, 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 male driving a stolen 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 males entered the PNC Bank in Tampa, Hillsborough County, with faces covered and 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 in Port St. Lucie and 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 Ivory Lee Robinson, 22, and Laqua 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.

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.

Desilien pled guilty on March 27, 2014, 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.

The sentencing for Bradford and Desilien has been set for July 14, 2014, before U.S. District Judge Jose E. Martinez.

Earlier this month, the last two of the eight defendants arrested, Anthony Isaac Johnson, 24, of West Palm Beach, and Paul Edward Moore, 25, of Green Acres, pled guilty before U.S. Magistrate Judge Frank J. Lynch to 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.

The sentencing for Johnson and Moore has been set for August 26, 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, Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office and FDLE 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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