News and Press Releases

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

WEDNESDAY - January 28, 2009

JURY CONVICTS DRIVER OF BANK ROBBERY GETAWAY CAR

NEW BERN - United States Attorney George E.B. Holding announced that yesterday a federal jury convicted DAWN DELORES JOHNSON, 41, of Clayton, North Carolina, of aiding and abetting a bank robbery, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 2113(a).

A Federal Grand Jury returned a Criminal Indictment on May 22, 2008. Evidence at trial established that on January 2, 2008, co-defendant Frederick Alando Smith entered the Heritage Bank in Smithfield, North Carolina, approached the teller counter and presented a demand note. The note state, “Don’t make me hurt anyone. Just empty your drawer.” Smith gave the teller a Christmas type gift bag in which to put the money. After the teller put the money in the bag, Smith walked out of the bank, leaving behind the demand note. Another teller saw Smith run behind some trees and then saw a white 4-door car leave the area in a hurried speed. Smith fled the bank with $1,679.00.

After Smith drove to the bank and entered the building, JOHNSON moved into the driver’s seat and drove the out of the bank parking lot and parked approximately two football fields away down the street behind a line of trees on a side road. When Smith finished robbing the bank, he ran directly to where JOHNSON was waiting and after Smith hopped in the vehicle JOHNSON sped away.

Photographs taken from the video surveillance cameras were distributed to the news media. An anonymous tip identified Smith. Officers went to Smith’s residence and the getaway car was in the driveway.

The maximum penalty for the charge is up to 25 years’ imprisonment followed by up to three years of supervised release and a fine of up to $250,000.

Sentencing has been set for the May 4, 2009, term of court.

Investigation of the case was conducted by the Smithfield Police Department and the Raleigh-Durham Area Safe Streets Task Force, comprised of personnel from the North Carolina State Highway Patrol, Durham County Sheriff's Office, Durham Police Department, Raleigh Police Department and the Federal Bureau of Investigation.. Assistant United States Attorney Felice McConnell Corpening served as prosecutor for the government.

 

News releases are available on the U. S. Attorney’s web page at www.usdoj.gov/usao/nce within 48 hours of release.

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