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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Middle District of Florida

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Pasco County Bank Robber Sentenced To Nearly 10 Years In Federal Prison

Tampa, FL - Senior U.S. District Judge Susan C. Bucklew today sentenced Thomas Eugene Rhoden (48, Zephyrhills) to 9 years and 7 months in federal prison for two bank robberies in October 2012. The court sentenced Rhoden to the high-end of the applicable sentencing guidelines, noting the seriousness of the offenses and his significant criminal history. As part of Rhoden's sentence, the court also entered a money judgment in the amount of $4,876.00, the amount of money he stole from the banks. Rhoden was also ordered to pay restitution in that same amount. Rhoden pleaded guilty to two counts of bank robbery on December 18, 2012.

According to court documents, on October 10, 2012, Rhoden entered the Zephyrhills branch of Sunshine State Federal Savings Bank dressed in dark colored clothing and wearing a waist pack. He passed a note to the teller demanding money. He also stated that he had a bomb in the waist pack, and that this was not a joke. The following week, on October 17, 2012, Rhoden robbed a Hudson branch of Bank of America in the same manner. He threatened the teller and ordered her to not try anything. The Pasco County Sheriff's Office bomb squad responded to the scene of both bank robberies to disarm the alleged bombs. In both instances the bombs turned out to be dirt and gravel.

"Once again our partnership with the U.S. Attorney's Office and FBI has proven successful in bringing another criminal to justice and protecting our citizens," said Sheriff Chris Nocco. "As a team we have demonstrated that there will be consequences to a criminal's bad decision."

This case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Pasco County Sheriff's Office. It was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Josephine W. Thomas.

Updated January 26, 2015