United States Attorney Anne M. Tompkins
Western District of North Carolina
CHARLOTTE, N.C. – Anthony Watson, 55, of Charlotte was sentenced today to serve 235 months in prison on bank robbery and related charges, announced Anne M. Tompkins, U.S. Attorney for the Western District of North Carolina. U.S. District Judge Max O. Cogburn, Jr. also sentenced Watson to three years of supervised release and ordered him to pay $54,314 as restitution to the victim banks, Sun Trust and BB&T.
John A. Strong, Special Agent in Charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Charlotte Division and Chief Rodney D. Monroe of the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department (CMPD) join U.S. Attorney Tompkins in making today’s announcement.
Court documents show that over the course of a three-month period in the summer of 2012, Watson committed four bank robberies stealing a total of $54,314 in cash. According to court documents and today’s sentencing hearing, on June 11, 2012, Watson entered a Sun Trust Bank branch located on Galleria Boulevard in Charlotte, approached a bank teller and asked for change to a $20 bill. Watson then handed the teller a small duffel bag and told the teller that he wanted “all of the money.” Court documents indicate that the teller complied and Watson fled the scene with more than $26,700 in cash. On July 20, 2012, Watson returned to the same Sun Trust branch and robbed the bank again, this time fleeing with more than $16,300 in cash, according to court records. Continuing his bank robbery spree, on July 30, 2012, Watson entered a BB&T branch on West Arbors Drive in Charlotte and, using the same method, demanded money from the bank teller. Filed documents show that the teller complied and Watson fled the bank with approximately $3,900 in cash. Then on August 3, 2012, Watson entered a BB&T branch located on Sardis Road in Charlotte, approached a bank teller and demanded “everything.” Watson also showed the teller the handle of a sawed-off .22 caliber rifle. According to filed documents, the teller complied and Watson left on foot with more than $7,300 in cash. Law enforcement arrested Watson three days later and seized, among other things, the .22 caliber sawed-off rifle Watson used in the bank robbery.
In handing down the sentence, Judge Cogburn noted “that while still serving a sentence of probation related to other prior bank robberies, Watson committed a series of new bank robberies that put people in danger.” Judge Cogburn emphasized that Watson’s “continuing recidivism” and the need to protect the community from further crimes of the defendant were important factors in determining Watson’s sentence.
Watson pleaded guilty in April 2013 to four counts of bank robbery and one count of possession of a firearm by a convicted felon. Watson has been in federal custody in the Western District of North Carolina since his arrest. Upon designation of a federal facility they will be transferred into custody of the Federal Bureau of Prisons. Federal sentences are served without the possibility of parole.
The investigation was handled by the FBI’s Safe Streets Task Force and CMPD. The prosecution for the government was handled by Assistant U.S. Attorney J. George Guise of the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Charlotte.