U.S. Department of Justice
United States Attorney
District of Rhode Island
February 1, 2010
Bridgeport, Connecticut man pleads guilty to
armed bank robberies in three states
Dwayne K. Lewis, of Bridgeport, Connecticut, pleaded guilty today to armed bank robberies committed in Rhode Island, Massachusetts, and New York in which a total of $269,000 was taken. Two other defendants have pleaded guilty in Massachusetts to taking part in the robberies.
United States Attorney Peter F. Neronha announced the guilty plea, which Lewis entered before Chief U.S. District Court Judge Mary M. Lisi in U.S. District Court, Providence.
At the plea hearing, Assistant U.S. Attorney Gerard B. Sullivan said the government could prove that Lewis and two other men, all brandishing weapons, went into a Sovereign Bank branch on Reservoir Avenue in Cranston in June 2007 and robbed employees there of $27,254. The three men committed similar armed robberies at a Berkshire Bank in Chicopee, Massachusetts in March 2007, in which they took $26,000, and at a North Fork Bank in Deer Park, New York in July 2007, in which the robbers took $215,771.
Two of the bank robbers, Richard Ducran and Tiashen Johnson were arrested at the scene of an unsuccessful bank robbery attempt in Holyoke, Massachusetts in May 2008. After additional investigation, FBI agents and police detectives linked them to the Cranston, Chicopee, and Deer Park robberies. In June 2009, agents arrested Lewis in Bridgeport on a federal complaint charging him with taking part in the robberies.
According to an affidavit supporting the complaint, Lewis was waiting outside the Holyoke bank in a rented car and managed to flee when Ducran and Johnson were arrested while fleeing the bank
Ducran and Johnson have pleaded guilty to bank robbery charges in U.S. District Court in Springfield, Massachusetts and are awaiting sentencing. According to the affidavit, Johnson claimed that the guns the robbers had used were air pistols, and police recovered two air pistols near the area in Holyoke where Ducran and Johnson were arrested.
Lewis, 28, pleaded guilty today to conspiracy, three counts of armed bank robbery, and one count of attempted bank robbery. He is detained pending sentencing, which Judge Lisi scheduled for June 4. The maximum penalty for each armed bank robbery and the attempted robbery is 25 years in prison and a $250,000 fine, and the maximum for conspiracy is five years in prison and a $250,000 fine.
In addition to the FBI, the Cranston, Chicopee, Holyoke, and Deer Park Police Departments investigated the robberies.