Man Pleads Guilty to Armed Bank Robbery and Multiple Bomb Hoaxes
NEWPORT NEWS, Va. – A Hampton man pleaded guilty today to armed bank robbery and making false bomb threats.
According to court documents, in August 2018, Oscar Von Alston II, 31, made multiple bomb threats throughout Hampton and Newport News in an effort to divert authorities and emergency resources away from his armed robbery of the Virginia Educators Credit Union (VECU). During the evacuation of the threatened locations, Von Alston robbed the VECU at gunpoint. He was apprehended less than 20 minutes after the robbery with over $22,000 from the VECU.
Von Alston faces a mandatory minimum of seven years and maximum of life in prison when sentenced on April 11. Actual sentences for federal crimes are typically less than the maximum penalties. A federal district court judge will determine any sentence after taking into account the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.
This case is part of Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), which is the centerpiece of the Department of Justice’s violent crime reduction efforts. PSN is an evidence-based program proven to be effective at reducing violent crime. Through PSN, a broad spectrum of stakeholders work together to identify the most pressing violent crime problems in the community and develop comprehensive solutions to address them. As part of this strategy, PSN focuses enforcement efforts on the most violent offenders and partners with locally based prevention and reentry programs for lasting reductions in crime.
G. Zachary Terwilliger, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia, and Martin Culbreth, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI’s Norfolk Field Office, Steve R. Drew, Chief of Newport News Police, and Terry L. Sult, Chief of Hampton Police Division, made the announcement after U.S. District Judge Arenda L. Wright Allen accepted the plea. Assistant U.S. Attorney Peter G. Osyf is prosecuting the case.
A copy of this press release is located on the website of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Virginia. Related court documents and information is located on the website of the District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia or on PACER by searching for Case No. 4:18-cr-79.