Two Bank Robbers Plead Guilty to April Robbery

November 18, 2011

Baltimore, Maryland - Torre Laron Johnson, age 35, of Baltimore, Maryland, pleaded guilty today to the April 12, 2011, armed bank robbery of the PNC Bank in the Reisterstown Road Plaza. On November 8, 2011, co-defendant Otis Nelson, age 46, also of Baltimore, pleaded guilty to the same charge.

The guilty plea was 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 Baltimore Police Commissioner Frederick H. Bealefeld III.

According to their plea agreements, on April 12, 2011, Johnson and Nelson entered the PNC bank located in the Giant Food grocery store at the Reisterstown Road Plaza in Baltimore. 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. Nelson approached the teller, displayed what appeared to be a small black semi-automatic handgun and demanded money. Nelson threatened to shoot the teller if she tried to give him any dye packs. 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 Nelson removed $6,730 from the drawer. Nelson and Johnson left the area in a vehicle driven by a third person.

According to the statement of facts, approximately 5-10 minutes after the robbery, police saw Nelson and Johnson in a car at the intersection of Garrison Boulevard and Boarman Avenue. Upon seeing the police, Nelson and Johnson bailed out of the car and ran down the 4000 block of Boarman Avenue. Johnson ultimately 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 apprehended approximately 30 minutes later hiding in a staircase under a porch, covered by a screen. The grey sweatshirt Nelson wore during the robbery was found nearby with rubber gloves in the pocket. Investigators also located $6,680 stolen from the bank in a vacant home along the route that Nelson ran.

Johnson and Nelson face a maximum penalty of 25 years in prison. U.S. District Judge Richard D. Bennett, has scheduled sentencing for Johnson on February 3, 2012, and for Nelson February 9, 2010, both at 3:00 p.m.

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 is prosecuting the case.

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