Armed Bank Robber Sentenced to 10 Years in Federal Prison
For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of Connecticut
Vanessa Roberts Avery, United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, announced that BOMANI AFRICA, 62, last residing in Philadelphia, was sentenced today by U.S. District Judge Jeffrey A. Meyer in New Haven to 120 months of imprisonment, followed by three years of supervised release, for committing armed bank robberies.
According to court documents and statements made in court, Africa met his associate, George Bratsenis, when they were both incarcerated on robbery convictions in a New Jersey state prison. On April 20, 2014, Africa and Bratsenis robbed a People’s United Bank branch located on Old Kings Highway Road in Darien, Connecticut. Bratsenis, driving his pick-up truck, dropped Africa off in downtown Darien. Africa then entered the bank, pulled out a gun, jumped over the teller counter and ordered a teller to open drawers, saying “I will shoot you if you don’t give me all your money!” Africa took a substantial amount of cash and then left the bank. Bratsenis picked up Africa a short distance away and they left the scene.
In September 2014, Africa, Bratsenis, and Africa’s son, Randi Feliciano, conspired to rob another bank. In the early morning hours of September 25, 2014, Feliciano drove Africa from Philadelphia to a parking lot in Trumbull, Connecticut, where, at approximately 8:30 a.m., Africa stole a car from a victim a gunpoint. The next morning, Africa and Bratsenis, both wearing masks and brandishing firearms, robbed a People’s United Bank branch located on Madison Avenue in Trumbull, taking nearly $30,000 in cash. After they drove from the scene in the car Africa had carjacked, they parked in a nearby parking lot and set fire to the car. Feliciano drove Africa from the scene and followed Bratsenis to a Norwalk restaurant where the three men divided the proceeds of the robbery. Feliciano then drove Africa back to Philadelphia.
On December 13, 2014, Africa and Feliciano, both wearing masks and brandishing firearms, robbed a First Niagara Bank branch located on Hawley Lane in Stratford, taking more than $15,000 in cash.
Africa, who has a lengthy criminal history that includes multiple convictions for robbery offenses, has been detained since his arrest on May 28, 2015. On December 16, 2015, he pleaded guilty to one count of armed bank robbery.
Bratsenis and Feliciano pleaded guilty to the same charge. On April 5, 2022, Bratsenis was sentenced to 96 months of imprisonment and, on February 21, 2017, Feliciano was sentenced to 51 months of imprisonment.
In addition to this prosecution, Africa and Bratsenis have each pleaded guilty to murder-for-hire charges in the District of New Jersey for committing a contract killing of an individual in New Jersey on May 22, 2014. They await sentencing in that case.
This matter was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Darien, Trumbull, Stratford, and Bridgeport Police Departments. The case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Rahul Kale.
Updated February 16, 2023