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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                                                                                                                          Jan. 30, 2012                   

TENNESSEE MAN PLEADS GUILTY TO BANK ROBBERY

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. – A Tennessee man pleaded guilty today in federal court before United States District Judge Robert C. Chambers to bank robbery. Charles Jeffrey Asher, 51, admitted that on August 23, 2011, he entered the First Priority Federal Credit Union located in Barboursville, Cabell County, W.Va., dressed in a security guard uniform and displayed a replica pistol and demanded cash from tellers who were working at the time.  Asher further admitted that he threatened to shoot if the tellers failed to comply with his demands for cash.  The defendant subsequently fled the bank with approximately $14,590 in Federal Reserve Notes that he obtained from tellers.

In a similar scheme, the defendant admitted that on October 3, 2011, he entered the Branch Banking and Trust (“BB&T”) located in Hurricane, Putnam County, W.Va., dressed in a security guard uniform and displayed a replica pistol and demanded cash from bank tellers.  Asher further admitted that he threatened to shoot if tellers failed to comply with his demands for cash.  The defendant subsequently fled the bank with approximately $15,602 in Federal Reserve Notes as a result of the robbery.  Asher was arrested at a rest area near Hurricane a few minutes after the BB&T bank robbery.

Asher faces up to 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine when he is sentenced on May 3, 2012.

The Barboursville Police Department, the Hurricane Police Department, the Putnam County Sheriff’s Department and the Federal Bureau of Investigation conducted the investigation. Assistant United States Attorney Joshua Hanks is handling the prosecution.

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