Thursday, December 17, 2009
Department of Justice
United States Attorney James R. Dedrick Eastern District of Tennessee
CHAD SCHAFFNER PLEADS GUILTY TO TENNESSEE BANK ROBBERIES
Schaffner was the subject of a nationwide manhunt
GREENEVILLE, Tenn -Chad Schaffner, 36, of Indianapolis, Indiana, entered a plea of guilty on December 17, 2009, in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Tennessee at Greeneville, to two (2) counts of bank robbery and two (2) counts of use of a firearm during and in relation to a violent crime. The United States has filed notice of intent to seek an enhanced punishment under Title 18, United States Code, Section 3559(c), often referred to as the federal “3 strikes law.” The notice alleges that Schaffner qualifies under this statute based on two (2) prior armed robbery convictions in the State of Indiana. This statute requires that defendants convicted under this statute be sentenced to serve the rest of their life in federal prison. The two convictions for use of firearms would also carry life sentences which must run consecutively to the underlying bank robbery convictions.
Schaffner is scheduled to be sentenced on August 9, 2010, at 9:00 a.m., in the United States District Court in Greeneville.
According to Schaffner’s plea agreement on file with the United States District Court in Greeneville, on August 18, 2009, Schaffner entered the Community National Bank in Jefferson City, demanded cash from a teller and displayed a firearm. The teller gave him the money which included a dye-pack. After departing the bank with the cash the dye pack exploded approximately forty feet from the bank. Schaffner fled after discarding the bag and money.
On the same day, Schaffner, armed with and brandishing a firearm, entered the First Tennessee Bank in Morristown, and demanded money from the teller. He told the teller “don’t put a dye pack in the bag or I will come back and blow your head off.” The teller complied and Schaffner fled the bank with a quantity of cash.
After a nationwide manhunt, Schaffner was arrested in Missouri. Schaffner admitted to robbing Community National Bank and First Tennessee Bank to agents of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). He told the agents that he began robbing banks to support his drug addiction. He also admitted to robbing banks in Kentucky, North Carolina, South Carolina, Illinois and Indiana. Schaffner further admitted to using and brandishing two different firearms during the course of these robberies, one of which was recovered from a motel room Schaffner occupied. Both robberies were recorded on video.
In addition to the Tennessee bank robberies, Schaffner has bank robbery charges pending in the Western District of North Carolina, Eastern District of North Carolina, District of South Carolina, Western District of Kentucky, Southern District of Indiana, and Southern District of Illinois.
The Tennessee investigation into these bank robberies was a joint investigation by the Morristown Police Department, Jefferson City Police Department and the FBI. Assistant United States Attorney Rob Reeves represented the United States.
Schaffner’s girlfriend, Linda Christina Davis, pled guilty on December 7, 2009, in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Tennessee at Greeneville, to accessory after the fact to the two Tennessee bank robberies. Davis was arrested with Schaffner in Missouri. She confessed to allowing Schaffner to use her car after the Morristown and Jefferson County robberies and renting motel rooms in various states to allow him to avoid apprehension. Complete details of her involvement can be found in her plea agreement on file with the United States District Court in Greeneville, Tenn. Davis faces up to twelve and a half years for her role. Davis is scheduled to be sentenced on May 3, 2010 at 1:30 p.m., in the United States District Court in Greeneville.
United States Attorney Russ Dedrick commended the FBI and the Morristown and Jefferson City Police Departments for their excellent investigative efforts in the identification of Schaffner which ultimately led to his arrest.