News and Press Releases

Woman Helped Recruit 12-year-old Boy to Participate in Armed Robbery

October 19, 2006

MELONEY DOLLAR, 27, of Tacoma, Washington, was sentenced today to three years in prison and five years of supervised release for Aiding and Abetting Armed Credit Union Robbery. DOLLAR admits she drove the getaway car for serial robber Mitchell Andre Friend during the February 24, 2005, robbery of America’s Credit Union (ACU) on Pacific Highway in Pierce County, Washington. DOLLAR was paid approximately $20,000 of the robbery proceeds for her assistance.

According to statements in court and records filed in the case, DOLLAR initially agreed to participate in the robbery after being introduced to Friend by an acquaintance. When the acquaintance dropped out of the plan, a 12-year-old boy, who was living with DOLLAR, agreed to rob the credit union with Friend. On February 24, 2005, Friend and the juvenile drove a stolen van to the credit union, while DOLLAR waited some distance away in another vehicle. Friend and the juvenile entered the bank armed with handguns. They ordered an armed security guard to lay on the floor and took his weapon. They ordered the staff to open the vault, and escaped with more than $82,000. They drove the stolen van to DOLLAR’s location, abandoned the stolen van, and fled in DOLLAR’s vehicle.

Ultimately a tip lead authorities to one of Friend’s co-conspirators. Friend was arrested January 26, 2006, in California, where he was already in jail on a probation violation. Friend has agreed to a 19 year prison sentence when he is sentenced on December 8, 2006.

The case was investigated by the FBI’s Pierce County Violent Crimes Task Force. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney’s Michael Dion and Gregory Gruber.

For additional information please contact Emily Langlie, Public Affairs Officer for the United States Attorney’s Office, at (206) 553-4110.

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