News and Press Releases

Three Plead Guilty To Charges Related To August 2008 Ligonier Bank Robbery

April 12, 2011

PITTSBURGH, Pa. ‑ A resident of Pittsburgh, Pa., and a resident of New Kensington, Pa, pleaded guilty in federal court to a charge of armed bank robbery, and a resident of Brooklyn, N.Y., pleaded guilty in federal court to a charge of misprision of a felony, United States Attorney David J. Hickton announced today.

Ricardo Brown, a/k/a Richard Anthony Brown, a/k/a Munch, 24, of Pittsburgh, Pa., and Lyle McKenzie Haines Milner, a/k/a Lil Alfred, a/k/a Bubby, a/k/a L.A., 22, of New Kensington, Pa., pleaded guilty to one count of armed bank robbery before Senior United States District Judge Alan N. Bloch. Rahil Rahman, 35, of Brooklyn, N.Y., pleaded guilty before Judge Bloch to one count of misprision of a felony.

In connection with the guilty pleas, the court was advised that on Aug. 6, 2008, the First Commonwealth Bank, located at 1506 Route 30, Ligonier, Pa., was robbed by three people wearing motorcycle/paintball helmets and disguises.  Those three individuals were Ricardo Brown, Sarah Blair and Michael Booker.  The subsequent investigation revealed the following:

On Aug. 4, 2008, Sarah Blair drove Rahil Rahman to the bank in order to find out information about the layout of the bank and the presence of any security guard.  Rahil Rahman entered the bank, asked some questions regarding opening an account and left.  Afterwards, Sarah Blair discussed with Rahil Rahman what happened inside the bank.

On the morning of Aug. 6, 2008, Blair, Brown, Milner and Booker drove together to Lower Burrell, Pa.  At approximately 7:30 a.m., they observed a woman near her white minivan.  Milner, while brandishing a gun, stole the woman's vehicle.  Thereafter, Milner drove to a Dollar General Store, located at 112 South Fairfield Street, Ligonier, Pa., and, while wearing a disguise, fired a shot into the front window in order to create a diversion for law enforcement.

A short time later, Blair, Brown and Booker entered the First Commonwealth Bank while brandishing guns and yelling profanities, placed the tellers and a customer on the floor and robbed the bank. During the robbery, one of the robbers struck a teller on the head with a handgun.  Following the robbery, Blair, Brown, Booker and Milner met at a predetermined location, where they had a rented limousine waiting, which drove the four of them to Herndon, Va.  Milner then rented a hotel room.  Later that day, Rahman flew from New York (where she lived) to Herndon, Va., where she met with Brown.

The following day, Blair and Brown returned to Ligonier in another rented limousine, and were involved in a traffic stop which resulted in their arrests. A subsequent search of Brown, Blair and the limousine resulted in the seizure of the firearm that Brown had utilized during the robbery, as well as proceeds from the robbery.

On Sept. 30, 2008, Rahman was interviewed by FBI agents about the robbery.  During that interview, Rahman provided inaccurate information to the agents, and concealed other information.

Blair and Booker previously have been convicted for their roles in this crime.

Judge Bloch scheduled sentencing for Aug. 18, 2011, at 11:30 a.m. for Brown, 12:30 p.m. for Milner and 1:30 p.m. for Rahman.  The law provides for a total sentence of up to 25 years in prison, a fine of $250,000, or both, for armed bank robbery; and up to three years in prison, a fine of $250,000, or both, for misprision of a felony.  Under the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, the actual sentence imposed is based upon the seriousness of the offenses and the criminal histories, if any, of the defendants.

Assistant United States Attorneys Almon S. Burke, Jr., and Troy Rivetti are prosecuting this case on behalf of the government.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Ligonier Township Police Department, Ligonier Borough Police Department, New Kensington Police Department, Westmoreland County District Attorney's Office, Westmoreland County Crime Laboratory, Pennsylvania State Police Crime Laboratory and the Lower Burrell Police Department all conducted the investigation that led to the prosecution of Ricardo Brown, Lyle McKenzie Haines Milner and Rahil Rahman.

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