Two Bank Robbers Sentenced to 9 Years in Prison

February 9, 2012

Baltimore, Maryland - U.S. District Judge Richard D. Bennett sentenced Otis Nelson, age 46, of Baltimore, Maryland, today to nine years in prison followed by five years of supervised release for bank robbery. On February 6, 2012, Judge Bennett also sentenced co-defendant Torre Laron Johnson, age 35, of Baltimore, to nine years in prison, followed by five years of supervised release on the same charge.

The sentences were announced by United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Rod J. Rosenstein; Special Agent in Charge Richard A. McFeely of the Federal Bureau of Investigation; and Commissioner Frederick H. Bealefeld III of the Baltimore City Police Department.

According to their guilty pleas, on April 12, 2011, Nelson and Johnson robbed the PNC Bank in the Reisterstown Road Plaza in Baltimore City at gunpoint. Johnson and Nelson entered the Giant Food grocery store, located inside the Reisterstown Road Plaza shopping center and walked into the PNC Bank, located inside the grocery store. Johnson stood by the entrance to the bank and acted as a lookout. Nelson jumped over the small door that separated the customer area from the teller area, approached the teller, displaying a small black semi-automatic handgun, and demanded money. Nelson attempted to conceal himself by crouching down behind the counter as he pointed the weapon at the teller. The teller opened the cash drawer and stepped away from the drawer, giving Nelson access. Nelson removed $6,730 from the drawer, and jumped over the same small door. Nelson and Johnson left the bank together, entered a vehicle driven by a third person and fled the area.

Approximately 5-10 minutes after the robbery, a police officer spotted Nelson and Johnson in a car at the intersection of Garrison Boulevard and Boarman Avenue. Upon seeing the police officer, Nelson and Johnson bailed out of the car and ran down the 4000 block of Boarman Avenue. Johnson stopped when the officer pulled up next to him. Near Johnson was a ski mask that he later admitted was his. A pair of rubber gloves was found in Johnson’s pockets. Nelson ran down an alley and was found approximately 30 minutes later hiding in a staircase under a porch, covered by a screen. Nelson was arrested and the grey sweatshirt he wore during the robbery was found nearby with rubber gloves in the pocket.

Investigators located $6,680 of the money that was taken from the PNC Bank in a vacant home along the route that Nelson ran when he left Boarman Avenue.

United States Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein commended the FBI and Baltimore Police Department for their work in the investigation. Mr. Rosenstein thanked Assistant United States Attorney Paul E. Budlow, who prosecuted the case.

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