News and Press Releases

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

SATURDAY - March 26, 2011

FREMONT BANK ROBBER SENTENCED

RALEIGH - United States Attorney George E.B. Holding announced that in federal court on March 24, 2011, United States District Judge James C. Dever III, sentenced CLIFTON EARL JOHNSON, 59, of Pikeville, North Carolina, to 192 months’ imprisonment followed by five years supervised release. The Court also imposed a fine of $10,000.

A Federal Grand Jury returned a Criminal Indictment on July 16, 2010. On October 4, 2010, JOHNSON pled guilty to armed bank robbery and using or carrying a firearm during and in relation to a crime of violence.

According to the Complaint, on June 9, 2010, JOHNSON entered the Heritage Bank in Fremont, North Carolina. Upon the bank manager asking if JOHNSON needed assistance, JOHNSON responded, “Yes, you can. Fill this bag with $100s and $50s,” then pointed a pistol at the manager’s head. JOHNSON ordered a customer to the floor and all the employees into the vault. An employee was ordered to place money from the vault into JOHNSON’s bag.

JOHNSON ordered the employees to lay on the floor and then fled with $24,703. The alarm was activated. When a Fremont police officer arrived and saw JOHNSON fleeing, confronted JOHNSON. JOHNSON pointed his weapon at the officer, who fired four shots at JOHNSON. JOHNSON was not hit, but surrendered immediately. All of the money was recovered.

Investigation of this case was conducted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Wayne County Sheriff’s Office and the Fremont Police Department. Assistant United States Attorney John Bennett represented 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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