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Monday, July 26, 2010

Department of Justice

Acting United States Attorney Gregg L. Sullivan Eastern District of Tennessee


GREENEVILLE, Tenn –Jamal Siler, 18, of Morristown, Tennessee, entered a plea of guilty on July 26, 2010, in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Tennessee at Greeneville, to the robbery of SunTrust Bank in Morristown, Tennessee. Sentencing has been set for January 12, 2011, at 11:00 a.m., in United States District Court in Greeneville.

Siler faces a maximum penalty of 25 years in prison; a maximum $250,000 fine; a maximum of five years of supervised release; and restitution for the bank robbery. Brandishing a firearm during the robbery carries an additional mandatory minimum seven year sentence which by statute must be served consecutively to the sentence imposed on the underlying offense.

In court, Siler agreed to the following facts. On May 20, 2010, officers of the Morristown Police Department responded to a bank robbery at SunTrust Bank located in Morristown, Tennessee. The bank is insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation. Employees advised that a male entered the bank wearing a white turban-type headdress, brandished a semi-automatic firearm, demanded money and fled. A later review of the surveillance video clearly showed Jamal Siler was the robber, and that he pointed a semi-automatic firearm at the teller. Witnesses to the bank robbery observed an unusual blue-colored car containing two males pick the robber up after he ran out of the bank. A short distance away, witnesses observed the blue car pull into the driveway of an apartment in Morristown, Tennessee, where all three males went inside. Officers quickly surrounded the apartment and ordered the individuals to come out. The three males exited and were identified as Christopher Landon Black, Joshua John Evans, and Jamal Siler.

A search of the apartment rendered several hundred dollars in cash, the clothing Siler wore during the robbery, as well as the 9mm pistol used in the robbery. The teller victim later identified Jamal Siler from a photo lineup as being the robber.

On June 8, 2010, a two-count indictment, which included the aforementioned charges, was returned against Siler, Evans and Black by a federal grand jury sitting in Greeneville, Tennessee. Black pled guilty to the same counts as Siler on July 7, 2010, and is set for sentencing on November 4, 2010. The trial for Evans is set for August 31, 2010.

This indictment was the result of an ongoing investigation by the Morristown Police Department and the FBI. Assistant U.S. Attorney Robert M. Reeves is representing the United States.

This case was brought as part of Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), a comprehensive national strategy that creates local partnerships with law enforcement agencies to effectively enforce existing gun laws. It provides more options to prosecutors, allowing them to utilize local, state, and federal laws to ensure that criminals who commit gun crime face tough sentences. PSN gives each federal district the flexibility it needs to focus on individual challenges that a specific community faces.

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