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Buffalo man pleads guilty to four bank robberies

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 23, 2014

       BUFFALO, N.Y. -- U.S. Attorney William J. Hochul, Jr. announced today that Earl Moss, 29, of Buffalo, N.Y., pleaded guilty before Chief U.S. District Court Judge William M. Skretny, to bank robbery and brandishing a firearm in connection with a crime of violence. The charges carry a maximum penalty of life in prison, a fine of $250,000 or both.

According to Assistant U.S. Attorneys John E. Rogowski and Edward H. White, who are handling the case, the defendant robbed four banks in Buffalo and Amherst in 2010 and 2011 including:

o             The April 20, 2010, robbery of the Citizens Bank at 3180 Sheridan Drive in Amherst, during which the defendant, wearing women’s clothing, passed the teller a note demanding money. After the teller turned over an amount of money to Moss and shortly after he left the bank, the dye pack in the bank money exploded. The defendant abandoned the money which was recovered by a nearby citizen who took the money back to the bank;

o             The April 30, 2010, robbery of the Citizens Bank at 1893 Elmwood Avenue in Buffalo, during which the defendant, again wearing women’s clothing, passed the teller a note reading “no dye packs or I’ll kill you.” The defendant fled the scene after receiving an amount of money;

o             The December 24, 2010, armed robbery of the Citizens Bank at 3180 Sheridan Drive in Amherst, during which the defendant, wearing a hooded sweat shirt and sun glasses, waived a silver hand gun and demanded money from the bank tellers. Moss received money from several tellers and ran from the bank. A customer in the bank took pursuit after the defendant and fired four shots from a pistol he had a permit to carry.  None of the shots struck Moss and the defendant escaped with the money; and

o             The April 18, 2010, armed robbery of the Citizens Bank at 1893 Elmwood Avenue in Buffalo, during which the defendant, again wearing a hooded sweat shirt and sun glasses, waived a silver hand gun and demanded money from the bank tellers. Moss received money from several tellers and ran from the bank. 

Moss moved to the Atlanta, Georgia, area after the first two robberies. In early December, 2010, following an armed robbery of a bank in Atlanta, the Federal Bureau of Investigation received information that Moss may be responsible for that robbery as well as the Buffalo area robberies. As a result, the FBI gathered sufficient evidence which resulted in Moss’s arrest two days after the last robbery. The defendant has been incarcerated since his arrest.

“The successful conclusion of this case demonstrates effective, coordinated policing at its best,” said U.S. Attorney Hochul. “As a result, both the community and area financial institutions are now safe from this violent predator.”

The plea is the culmination of an investigation on the part of Special Agents of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Amherst Police Department, under the direction of Chief John C. Askey, and the Buffalo Police Department, under the direction of Commissioner Daniel Derenda.

Sentencing is scheduled for August 20, 2014, at 10:00 a.m. before Chief Judge Skretny.