News and Press Releases

News Release
U.S. Department of Justice
Peter F. Neronha
United States Attorney
District of Rhode Island

October 1, 2010

 

Lowell, Massachusetts Man Pleads Guilty to Warwick RI and 10 OtherBank Robberies

 

Portland, Maine: Thomas E. Delahanty II, United States Attorney for the Maine, has announced that Robert Ferguson pleaded guilty today in United States District Court in Bangor to 11 counts of bank robbery. The pleas were accepted by Chief Judge John Woodcock.

Mr. Ferguson began his bank robbing spree throughout the northeast on April 9, 2010 in Buffalo, New York. During April, May, June, and July, he robbed ten additional banks and credit unions in Vermont, Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Rhode Island. His spree ended with a robbery at the Bangor Savings Bank in Orono, Maine on July 13, 2010.

The Orono Police Department, the Bangor Police Department and the FBI responded to the robbery of the Bangor Savings Bank. Thanks to information received from several concerned citizens in Bangor and the good cooperative work of the local police and FBI, Ferguson was ultimately taken into custody the morning of July 14, 2010, the day after he robbed the Bangor Savings Bank. He has been held in custody since that time.
After Ferguson was in custody, the FBI took the lead in coordinating the various investigations in the other cities. Special Agent Margaret Cronin and her team got search warrants, did critical interviews, and synthesized the evidence collected by all the other law enforcement agencies. Based on the strength of that collective evidence, Ferguson chose to plead guilty to these eleven robberies.

Ferguson’s robberies were remarkably consistent. He would enter a bank, demand money, make reference to a gun or showed a gun, and threaten to kill or harm the banks’ employees if they did not do what he asked. He intimidated roughly twenty tellers into turning over the bank or the credit union’s money. He wore various disguises and he always left on foot and walked to a vehicle some distance away from the bank or credit union. Bank robbery, especially where a gun is used, is particularly traumatizing to the bank’s employees and members of the public who may be present. “We treat bank robberies very seriously in the State of Maine, and at sentencing this office intends to request that the court impose a significant sentence,” said U.S. Attorney Delahanty. A sentencing date has not been set. Ferguson will continue to be held in custody.

U.S. Attorney Delahanty stated, “I want to thank the US Attorney’s Offices in Massachusetts, Vermont, New Hampshire, Rhode Island and the Western District of New York and the many district attorneys, county attorneys and States attorneys in the affected districts for their cooperation in resolving these cases.
I want to especially thank the police departments in Buffalo, Burlington, Tewskbury, Tyngsboro, Fitchburg, North Attleboro, Warwick, Londonderry, Hampstead, and Merrimack for their solid police work and for their willingness to cooperate with each other.
The law enforcement agencies in Maine – the Orono Police, the Bangor Police and the FBI – did outstanding work in responding to the Bangor Savings Bank robbery and coordinating the evidence and putting this case together.

Finally, I want to credit the concerned citizens from Bangor and Orono who provided critical information that allowed the police to make the arrest of Robert Ferguson. Maine is a small state, and it is heartening to see that the people of Maine are willing to step forward and contact police when they think have evidence. It made the difference in this case.

I also want to recognize Assistant United States Attorney Nancy Torresen who handled the prosecution of this case from the beginning and was instrumental in coordinating the prosecution in these six states.”

Richard DesLauriers, Special Agent in Charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation for New England stated, “Working collectively across multiple states, we shared information and collaborated on strategy with the singular goal of solving this string of bank robberies. The outstanding joint investigative work done by each of the agencies demonstrates the bond that we in law enforcement have forged in New England.”

 


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