U.S. Department of Justice
Peter F. Neronha
United States Attorney
District of Rhode Island
November 20, 2012
Vermont Man Sentenced to 10 Years in Federal Prison for Armed Robbery of West Greenwich Bank
PROVIDENCE, R.I. – Louis R. Peters III, 23, of West Topsham, Vt., was sentenced in U.S. District Court in Providence on Monday to 120 months in federal prison for his participation in the May 28, 2011, armed robbery of a West Greenwich, R.I., bank. Employees were bound and held at gunpoint as they readied the bank to be opened for business.
Peters was sentenced by U.S. District Court Judge William E. Smith to 36 months in federal prison on charges of conspiracy to commit bank robbery and bank robbery, and a consecutive sentence of 84 months in federal prison for brandishing a firearm during a crime of violence. In addition, Peters was ordered to serve 5 years of supervised release following his prison term. Peters pleaded guilty on January 25, 2012.
Peters and a co-defendant, Craig A. Carey, 43, of Fall River, Mass., were arrested by West Greenwich Police and Rhode Island State Police within minutes of the robbery. The pair was preparing to flee the area of the bank when they were located and detained.
Peters’ sentence was announced by United States Attorney Peter F. Neronha; West Greenwich Police Chief Richard N. Ramsay; Colonel Steven G. O’Donnell, Superintendent of the Rhode Island State Police; and Richard DesLauriers, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI’s Boston Field Office.
At the time of his guilty plea, Peters admitted to the court that he was one of two masked men that accosted a bank manager at gunpoint as she arrived at the bank. Peters admitted once inside the bank the manager was ordered to open the vault, but that they were informed by the manager that it took two bank employees to open the vault. As other employees arrived for work, Peters admitted that they were instructed to lie on the floor and that he bound their hands and their feet with zip ties.
According to information presented to the court, when a second manager arrived at the bank she explained to the robbers that there was a fifteen minute delay between the opening of the outer and inner bank vault doors. Upon learning that fact, the armed robber threatened the bank employees and then demanded that they empty the contents of all of the cashier drawers into a black bag provided by the robber. The two managers complied with that request, turning over approximately $82,000 to the robbers. Both robbers eventually left the bank.
According to information presented to the court, a witness called police to report that he observed two masked men exit from the bank. The witness called police again a few minutes later to report that he again saw the same two individuals walk out of a wooded area adjacent to the bank and cross a roadway towards the rear of an industrial building. One of them was carrying a black duffle bag.
According to information presented to the court, West Greenwich officers and a Rhode Island State Police trooper located Peters inside and behind the wheel of a vehicle bearing a Vermont registration plate. Shortly after Peters was taken into custody, a second person, later identified as Craig A. Carey, was located in the same area and was taken into custody. Keys later identified as the keys to the bank that had been robbed and keys to the bank manager’s vehicle were located in Carey’s pocket. A search of the vehicle led to the discovery of a black duffle bag in the trunk containing a revolver, a large sum of cash and clothing matching the description of clothing worn by the robbers.
Peters and Carey have been detained since their arrest.
Carey, who pleaded guilty on October 9, 2012, to federal charges of conspiracy to commit bank robbery; bank robbery; use of a firearm in relation to the commission of a bank robbery; and being a felon in possession of a firearm, is scheduled to be sentenced on January 17, 2013.
The cases are being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Stephen G. Dambruch and Sandra R. Hebert.