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Justice News

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

Tuesday, July 24, 2018

Man Sentenced to Prison for Virginia Beach Bank Robbery

NORFOLK, Va. – A Virginia Beach man was sentenced today to 15 years in prison for participating in an armed robbery of a bank in Virginia Beach.

According to court documents, Austin Lee Howard, 35, made plans with Marquis Larosa Buckley, 41, to conduct an armed robbery of a PNC Bank in Virginia Beach. Howard was caught on surveillance video entering the bank the day before the planned robbery to become familiar with the layout, where the tellers and offices were located, and whether there were any security cameras and personnel in the bank.

On or about Oct. 13, 2017, Buckley, wearing a disguise, entered the PNC Bank and brandished a firearm while demanding money from the tellers. He then dropped what appeared to be an explosive device on the floor, which was later determined to be a hoax bomb. In order to speed up the tellers, Buckley discharged his firearm in the bank, and the tellers handed over approximately $8000. During the robbery, one of the tellers secreted an electronic tracking device in the money given to Buckley before he fled the scene and got into the get-a-way vehicle driven by Howard. As a result, the Virginia Beach police were able to track the robbers’ movements via GPS as they fled the scene in the get-a-way vehicle. The police eventually located the get-a-way vehicle and recovered the money with the GPS device, the pistol used during the robbery, and the disguise worn by Buckley.

Buckley pleaded guilty to his role in the armed robberies on July 3, and is scheduled for sentencing on October 3.

This case is part of Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), a program bringing together all levels of law enforcement and the communities they serve to reduce violent crime and make our neighborhoods safer for everyone. Attorney General Jeff Sessions reinvigorated PSN in 2017 as part of the Department’s renewed focus on targeting violent criminals, directing all U.S. Attorney’s Offices to work in partnership with federal, state, local, and tribal law enforcement and the local community to develop effective, locally-based strategies to reduce violent 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 U.S. District Judge Raymond A. Jackson. 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-16.

Project Safe Neighborhoods
Violent Crime
Joshua Stueve Director of Communications
Updated July 24, 2018