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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, January 25, 2019

Man Sentenced to Prison for Four Bank Robberies

NORFOLK, Va. – A Virginia Beach man was sentenced today to nine years in prison for robbing three banks and one credit union.

According to court documents, between November 2017 and April 2018, Rian Michael Lopez robbed three banks in Virginia Beach and a credit union in Chesapeake. Lopez would enter the banks or credit union brandishing what appeared to be a firearm while demanding money. The total amount taken from all the robberies was approximately $35,000. The robbery spree came to an end when an alert Virginia Beach police officer spotted Lopez casing out another bank in an automobile linked to the previous robberies. Lopez has previously served time for a 2010 federal bank robbery conviction in South Carolina.

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, made the announcement after sentencing by United States District Court Judge Rebecca Beach Smith. Assistant U.S. Attorney William D. Muhr prosecuted 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. 2:18-cr-135.

Topic(s): 
Project Safe Neighborhoods
Violent Crime
Contact: 
Joshua Stueve Director of Communications joshua.stueve@usdoj.gov
Updated January 28, 2019