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Press Release

Woman Sentenced to Federal Prison for Bank Robbery

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Eastern District of North Carolina

WILMINGTON, N.C. – A Harrisburg, Pennsylvania woman was sentenced today to 42 months in prison for robbing a bank in Ayden, North Carolina.  She was also ordered to pay restitution for all the banks.  On November 2, 2021, Circe Nena Baez pled guilty to the charges.

According to court documents and other information presented in court, Baez, 38, entered the Southern Bank in Ayden on July 24, 2019, and handed a note to the bank teller demanding money.  The note also threatened that Baez’s children were being held hostage.  The bank teller gave $2,494 to Baez who then left the bank.  After leaving the bank, Baez met with her co-conspirator, Alexis Morales, who was the driver for the robbery.  Law enforcement agents later verified that no children were held hostage as part of the robbery. 

Baez and Morales also robbed three other banks in the same manner during July 2019.  Those robberies occurred in Pennsylvania, Delaware, and Hamlet, North Carolina.  The Federal Bureau of Investigation and local police departments were able to track Baez and Morales to Charlotte, North Carolina and arrested them.

Morales also pled guilty to the robbery and is awaiting sentencing. 

Michael Easley, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of North Carolina made the announcement after sentencing by Chief U.S. District Judge Richard E. Myers II. The Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Ayden Police Department, the Hamlet Police Department, the Delaware State Police, the Carlisle Borough Police and the Charlotte Mecklenburg Police Department investigated the case and Assistant U.S. Attorneys Bryan Stephany and John Parris prosecuted the case.

Related court documents and information can be found on the website of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of North Carolina or on PACER by searching for Case No. 4:20-cr-00072-M.

Updated February 16, 2022

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