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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
District of Massachusetts

Friday, April 28, 2017

Everett Man Convicted of Armed Bank Robbery

BOSTON – An Everett man was convicted by a federal jury yesterday of armed bank robbery, using a firearm during the commission of a crime of violence, and being a previously convicted felon in possession of a firearm and ammunition.


Joseph G. Rachal, 65, was convicted following a four-day trial and is scheduled to be sentenced by U.S. District Court Judge Nathaniel M. Gorton on July 27, 2017.


On Nov. 19, 2015, an individual wearing a blue hat, brown facemask, tan jacket, tan pants, and carrying a black nylon bag, entered a branch of the TD Bank in Brighton. As the individual entered the bank, he removed a black semi-automatic handgun, pointed it at the tellers, and ordered them to turn over cash from the drawers. The individual took the money and exited the bank. A post-robbery audit revealed that the individual took $2,397.


The Boston Police arrived within minutes of the robbery and observed an individual hiding behind a parked SUV one block from the bank. When the officers approached the vehicle and identified themselves as police, the individual got up and began running away while carrying a black nylon bag.


The officers caught the individual, later identified as Rachal. An active scanner, which was tuned to a Boston Police radio frequency, was found on Rachal. The bag Rachal was carrying was searched and found to contain a 9mm Glock semi-automatic pistol with one chambered round and a magazine containing 14 additional rounds, along with an additional magazine containing 15 rounds of 9mm ammunition, a brown facemask, gloves, a tan jacket, blue baseball hat and $2,397.


Bank surveillance cameras captured images of the robbery, and the items recovered from the bag Rachal was carrying were consistent with the items observed on the video.


The charge of armed bank robbery provides for a sentence of no greater than 25 years in prison, five years of supervised release, and a fine of up to $250,000. The charge of being a felon in possession provides for a sentence of no greater than 10 years in prison, three years of supervised release, and a fine of up to $250,000. The charge of carrying a firearm during the commission of a crime of violence provides for a mandatory sentence of seven years to be served consecutive to the other charges. Actual sentences for federal crimes are typically less than the maximum penalties. Sentences are imposed by a federal district court judge based upon the U.S. Sentencing guidelines and other statutory factors.


Acting United States Attorney William D. Weinreb; Harold H. Shaw, Special Agent in Charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Boston Field Division; and Boston Police Commissioner William Evans made the announcement today. The investigation was conducted with the assistance of the FBI’s Violent Crime Task Force. Assistant U.S. Attorney Kenneth G. Shine of Weinreb’s Major Crimes Unit is prosecuting the case.

Violent Crime
Updated April 28, 2017