News and Press Releases

Erie Man Admits Robbing 5 Banks In Pennsylvania And Ohio

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 16, 2011

ERIE, Pa. - A resident of Erie, Pennsylvania, pleaded guilty in federal court to multiple charges of bank robbery, United States Attorney David J. Hickton announced today.

Jeffrey Kent Witscher, age 46, pleaded guilty to five counts before Senior United States District Judge Maurice B. Cohill, Jr. related to a bank robbery spree occurring in Western Pennsylvania and Andover, Ohio between November and December 2009.

In connection with the guilty plea, the court was advised that on November 20, 2009, Witscher entered the Farmer's National Bank, located at 1319 West Main Street, Grove City, Pennsylvania and presented a threatening demand note for money, but fled the bank prior to obtaining bank proceeds.  Then on November 25, 2009, Witscher entered a PNC Bank, located at  5001 Peach Street, Erie, Pennsylvania, handed a threatening demand note to a teller and displayed a handgun.  Witscher fled the bank after obtaining $5480.00.  On December 8, 2009, Witscher entered the PNC bank located at 123 High Street, Waterford, Pennsylvania, again presented a threatening demand note and made it appear that he had a handgun.  Witscher then fled the bank after obtaining $3384.00.  On December 21, 2009, Witscher traveled to Ohio, entered the Andover Bank, located at 19 Public Square, Andover, Ohio, and fled after presenting a threatening demand note and obtaining $3,110.00. Finally, on December 30, 2009, Witscher entered the First United National Bank located at 1153 Liberty Street, Franklin, Pennsylvania and presented a threatening demand note, but fled on foot prior to obtaining any money. The Franklin Police Department responded to the area and captured Witscher.

Sentencing will be set by Judge Cohill at a later date.  The law provides for a total sentence of one hundred and five years in prison, a fine of $1,250,000, or both.  Under the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, the actual sentence imposed is based upon the seriousness of the offenses and the criminal history, if any, of the defendant.

Assistant United States Attorney Marshall J. Piccinini is prosecuting this case on behalf of the government.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Franklin Police Department, the Millcreek Police Department, the Pennsylvania State Police and the Andover, Ohio Police Department conducted the investigation that led to the prosecution of Witscher.

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