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Wednesday - November 5, 2003

GREENVILLE - United States Attorney Frank D. Whitney announced that LAURENCE S. TRUSSELL, a/k/a Laurence Trysell, was sentenced in federal court in Greenville on Monday, October 27, 2003, for armed bank robbery and firearms violations. U. S. District Judge Malcolm J. Howard imposed a sentence of 180 months imprisonment and a supervised release term of five years. Also, he ordered TRUSSELL to pay restitution in the amount of $30,170.13 and a special assessment of $300.00.

TRUSSELL, 28, of Millville, New Jersey, was indicted by a federal grand jury in Raleigh on April 3, 2003. A four-count Indictment charged TRUSSELL with armed robbery of the First Union National Bank, 6002 Falls of the Neuse Road, Raleigh, on December 10, 2002 (Count One); armed robbery of the SouthTrust Bank, 7541 Creedmoor Road, Raleigh, on February 5, 2003 (Count Three); and two counts of brandishing a firearm during and in relation to a crime of violence (Counts Two and Four). Pursuant to a plea agreement with the United States Attorney's Office, TRUSSELL pled guilty on May 27, 2003, to Counts One, Two, and Three of the Indictment. Court Four was dismissed at sentencing.

According to evidence and testimony presented in court, TRUSSELL and another unidentified male robbed the SouthTrust Bank on Creedmoor Road in Raleigh on February 5, 2003, at gunpoint. Wearing a black toboggan and something covering his face, TRUSSELL entered the bank brandishing a silver semi-automatic style handgun. After yelling "Get down," he proceeded to kick the teller gate open. TRUSSELL took cash from all of the drawers, grabbed a teller's purse, and ran. Both robbers fled in a stolen white Suburban, and a police chase ensued. TRUSSELL was apprehended shortly after he fled from the car on foot. He confessed to the robbery. The loss to the bank was $5,088.00.

After his arrest, further investigation connected TRUSSELL to an armed robbery of the First Union Bank on Falls of the Neuse Road in Raleigh that occurred on December 10, 2002. On that day, the bank was robbed at gunpoint by two black males who fled in a stolen 1992 silver Buick LaSabre bearing New Jersey license plates from the same hometown as TRUSSELL. During the course of the robbery, one of the robbers hit one of the tellers in the head and held a gun to the head of another teller, and demanded "big bills." When confronted with this robbery and the evidence, TRUSSELL confessed to his involvement but would not reveal the identity of his accomplice(s) in the robberies. The bank suffered a $26,150.00 loss from this robbery. Both banks were insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation.

Investigation of the case was conducted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Raleigh Police Department. Assistant U. S. Attorney Banumathi Rangarajan handled the case for the government.

News releases are available on the U. S. Attorney's web page at within 48 hours of release.

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