News and Press Releases

New York City Man Sentenced to More than 13 Years’ Imprisonment for Role in the Armed Robbery of a Hanover Township Bank

September 25, 2012

     The United States Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Pennsylvania announced that Monday, in Scranton, Senior United States District Court Judge James M. Munley sentenced James Russell age 57, formerly of New York City, to 13 years’ and nine months’ imprisonment for his role in the armed robbery of a Hanover Township Bank.

     Russell pleaded guilty to all the charges in a superseding indictment filed in April 2012 which charged that on October 30, 2010, Russell brandished a firearm and controlled the lobby of the M&T Bank, Hanover Township, Pennsylvania, while co-defendants Shaelyn Joy Davis and Kareem Shabazz vaulted over the teller counter to access the money drawers.

     Russell and his co-defendants stole $17,808.32.

     According to Assistant United States Attorney John Gurganus, who prosecuted the case, the evidence presented at the trial of Kareem Shabazz established that on October 30, 2010, Joseph Swerdon drove Kareem Shabazz, Shaelyn Joy Davis and James Russell to the M & T Bank. Shabazz, Davis and Russell entered the bank brandishing weapons, including pistols and a sawed-off shotgun.

     The robbers closed the blinds so no person could see in from the outside. The robbers ordered the bank employees and a bank customer to get on the ground. The robbers then left the bank with $17,808.32, and Swerdon drove two of the robbers to New York where they met with other conspirators to divide the money.

     Judge Munley previously sentenced Kareem Shabazz, a career offender, to life imprisonment, Shaelyn Joy Davis to 90 months’ imprisonment and Joseph Swerdon to 94 months’ imprisonment.

     The case was investigated by the FBI, the Pennsylvania State Police, and the Hanover Township Police Department.


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