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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Eastern District of Virginia

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Black Hat Bandit Gunman Pleads Guilty to Bank Robbery Charges

ALEXANDRIA, Va. – Thomas Anthony George, 65, of Washington, D.C., pleaded guilty today to two counts of using a firearm during the commission of armed bank robberies.

According to the statement of facts filed with the plea agreement, in approximately January 2015, George entered a conspiracy to commit armed bank robberies within the Eastern District of Virginia, and elsewhere.  Over the course of the ensuing two months, George and his co-conspirators, who were known as the Black Hat Bandits, robbed nine banks, including six banks in the Eastern District of Virginia, two banks in the District of Maryland, and one bank in the District of Columbia.  In each of these robberies, George brandished a firearm at bank customers or employees of the bank.  In total, George and his co-conspirators stole approximately $182,104 during the nine bank robberies.    

George was indicted by a federal grand jury on March 19, 2015. George faces a mandatory minimum penalty of 32 years in prison and a maximum penalty of life in prison when sentenced on Dec. 17, 2015. The maximum statutory sentence is prescribed by Congress and is provided here for informational purposes, as the sentencing of the defendant will be determined by the court based on the advisory Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.

Dana J. Boente, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia; Vincent H. Cohen, Jr., Acting U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia; Paul M. Abbate, Assistant Director in Charge of the FBI’s Washington Field Office; and Cathy Lanier, Chief of the Metropolitan Police Department, made the announcement after the plea was accepted by U.S. District Judge James C. Cacheris. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Tobias D. Tobler and Jonathan L. Fahey are prosecuting the case.

The investigation was worked jointly by the FBI's Washington and Baltimore Field Offices, Anne Arundel County Police Department, Charles County Sheriff’s Office, Fairfax County Police Department, Falls Church Police Department, Loudoun County Police Department, the Metropolitan Police Department, Vienna Police Department and Virginia State Police.  Additional assistance was provided by Arlington County Police Department, Maryland State Police and the Montgomery County Police Department.

A copy of this press release may be found on the website of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Virginia.  Related court documents and information may be found on the website of the District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia or on PACER by searching for Case No. 1:15-CR-87.


Violent Crime
Updated September 24, 2015