FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
WEDNESDAY - December 17, 2008
FORT BRAGG SOLDIERS CHARGED IN BANK ROBBERY ATTEMPT
GREENVILLE - United States Attorney George E.B. Holding announced that a Federal Grand Jury returned a Criminal Indictment on Monday, December 15, 2008, charging four individuals, PRIELINSO ANDRE CONNER, 20; his wife, TAJIA RENEE CONNER, 19; JUSTIN LEE ROBERSON, 22; all of Fayetteville, North Carolina; and LOUIS EDUARD RODRIGUEZ, 20, of Fort Bragg, North Carolina, with conspiring to commit bank robbery, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 372; aiding and abetting attempted armed bank robbery, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Sections 2113(a) and (d) and 2; aiding and abetting use of a firearm during or in relation to a crime of violence, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 924(c) (1)(A) and 2; and aiding and abetting possession of a stolen firearm, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Sections 922(j)& 924(a)(2) and 2.
According to the Indictment, on November 19, 2008, in Fayetteville, North Carolina, PRIELINSO CONNER, a soldier at Fort Bragg,approached an individual stating that he, CONNER, and others intended to commit a bank robbery. CONNER attempted to solicit participation in the armed robbery from this individual. On November 23, 2008, the four defendants met, discussed and planned the armed robbery of the Fort Sill National Bank on Yadkin Road in Fayetteville, North Carolina. The robbery was planned for the early morning hours of November 28, 2008; sometimes referred to as Black Friday. On November 26, 2008, ROBERSON and RODRIGUEZ, also soldiers at Fort Bragg, entered a vehicle and stole a Mossberg shotgun and ammunition for use in the bank robbery. On November 28, 2008, the four defendants again met and made final preparations for the armed robbery. Fayetteville Police officers found the defendants in possession of masks, gloves, change of clothes and the stolen shotgun.
“This is a particularly troubling case in which some of our active duty military, otherwise sworn to protect us, chose this course of action,” commented Mr. Holding.
An indictment contains allegations that a defendant has committed a crime. Every defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty in court.
Investigation of the case was conducted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation; the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives; the United States Army Criminal Investigation Division and the Fayetteville Police Department. Assistant United States Attorney Thomas Murphy served as prosecutor for the government.
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