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

March 18, 2013

Foster Man Sentenced to 13 Years in Federal Prison
for Bank Robbery, Violation of Supervised Release

PROVIDENCE, R.I. – James W. Snoke, 49, of Foster, was sentenced today to 151 months in federal prison for robbing a Cranston bank while claiming to be armed with an explosive device in November 2011, announced United States Attorney Peter F. Neronha; Cranston Police Chief Colonel Marco Palombo, Jr.; Foster Police Chief Robert E. Coyne, Jr.; 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 sentencing, U.S. District Court Judge William E. Smith also ordered Snoke to serve a consecutive sentence of six months in federal prison for violating the terms of his supervised release after he completed serving a 70 month federal prison sentence imposed in November 2004 for his role as getaway driver during a bank robbery in Providence in February 2004. Snoke was also ordered to serve one year of supervised release upon completion of his most recent prison sentence.

At the time of his guilty plea on May 30, 2012, Snoke admitted to the court that on November 18, 2011, he approached a teller in a Cranston branch office of BankRI demanding that he be given fifties and one hundred dollar bills and no dye packs, while threatening the teller by displaying a device he claimed was a bomb. A second teller was summonsed who placed a quantity of cash inside a black bag provided by Snoke. Snoke fled the bank with the bag which contained $2,365 in cash and the device he claimed was a bomb.

According to information presented to the court, Cranston Police provided a still photograph of the robber obtained from the bank’s surveillance system as part of their investigation to the Rhode Island Department of Corrections. A correctional officer identified the person in the photograph as James Snoke, a former inmate at the state prison.

On November 21, 2011, members of the Cranston Police Department, Foster Police Department and Rhode Island State Police executed a court authorized search of Snoke’s Foster residence. Several pieces of evidence were seized during the search. The next day, Rhode Island State Police located Snoke in East Providence and arrested him. He has been detained since his arrest.

United States Attorney Peter F. Neronha commended the collaboration between law enforcement from the Cranston and Foster Police Departments, Rhode Island State Police and the FBI which led to the arrest and successful prosecution of this defendant.

The case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Stephen G. Dambruch.

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Contact: 401-709-5357
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