News and Press Releases

Robber’s Efforts to Hide Distinctive Dental Grillz Helped Teller Remember Him

June 29, 2007

RUSTY REX REAN, 28, of Portland, Oregon, was sentenced today in U.S. District Court in Tacoma to 15 years in prison and 3 years of supervised release for Bank Robbery. REAN was convicted following a two day trial in January 2007. At trial a teller testified that REAN kept his mouth tightly closed during the bank robbery, in an apparent effort to hide his distinctive dental grillz. U.S. District Judge Franklin Burgess imposed the lengthy sentence finding that REAN is a “Career Offender.”

On August 4, 2005, a robber handed a note to a teller at the Cascade Park Branch of Key Bank in Vancouver, Washington. The note said, “This is a robbery, Don’t make it a murder, Handgun, No Dye Packs, No Marked Money, Do this in 30 seconds.” The teller remembered the robber’s “strange close-mouthed grin.” The robber left with $1,795. At trial, various witnesses, including REAN’s probation officer, identified REAN as the robber in the surveillance video. DNA evidence from a hat that flew off the robber as he drove away also linked REAN to the crime. Authorities also found the note pad on which REAN had written the demand note and could make out some of the same words from the impressions on the tablet. Prosecutors showed the jury a picture of REAN’s distinctive cosmetic dental grillz – the reason for his close-mouthed grin.

Prosecutors urged Judge Burgess to impose the significant sentence, noting that REAN has prior convictions for drug possession, drug delivery and robbery.

The case was investigated by the FBI and Vancouver Police Department (VDP). The case was prosecuted by Special Assistant United States Attorney Kent Liu. Mr. Liu is a Deputy Pierce County Prosecutor specially designated to handle drug and gun cases in federal court.

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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