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Press Release

Three-time Columbus Bank Robber Sentenced to 90 Months in Prison

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Middle District of Georgia

COLUMBUS, Ga. – A Columbus resident with a lengthy criminal history who went on a crime spree in March 2020, robbing three banks over several days, was sentenced to 90 months in prison today, said Peter D. Leary, the Acting U.S. Attorney for the Middle District of Georgia.

Jason Arnold, 50, of Columbus, who previously pleaded guilty to three counts bank robbery before U.S. District Judge Clay D. Land, was sentenced today to 90 months imprisonment, to be followed by three years of supervised release. Arnold will have to pay $5,023.02 in restitution. There is no parole in the federal system.

“Arnold is a career criminal who menaced the Columbus community with repeated bank robberies and who will now face the consequences for his crimes—federal prison without parole,” said Acting U.S. Attorney Leary. “I want to thank the Columbus Police Department and the FBI for investigating this case and working tirelessly to bring Arnold into custody.”

“In the span of a few days, Arnold terrorized innocent citizens who were simply doing their jobs,” said Chris Hacker, Special Agent in Charge of FBI Atlanta. “Thanks to the help from our partners at the Columbus Police Department, we were able to expediently get him off the streets before he could terrorize anyone else, and now he will be kept off the streets for a long time.”

In March 2020, Arnold robbed banks located in Columbus. The first robbery occurred at the Synovus Bank on 10th Avenue on March 17. Arnold slipped the teller a demand note, and the teller gave Arnold cash. The second robbery occurred at the Wells Fargo Bank on Bradley Park Drive the next day, on March 18. Arnold again handed the teller a demand note and received money. The third and final robbery occurred on March 21 at the Wells Fargo Bank on Victory Drive. Arnold handed over a demand note, took money from the teller, and exited the bank. During this robbery, the teller said Arnold gave the impression that he had a gun based on the way he held his hand near his jacket. All three robberies were captured on surveillance video. Two witnesses at the third robbery recognized Arnold as the man who had robbed two banks earlier in the week. FBI agents and Columbus Police Department officers arrested Arnold on April 1. Arnold confessed to all three bank robberies. Arnold has an extensive criminal history, to include five prior felony convictions for theft, and felony convictions for robbery and escape.

The case was investigated by the FBI and the Columbus Police Department. Assistant U.S. Attorney Christopher Williams prosecuted the case for the Government. Questions can be directed to Pamela Lightsey, Public Information Officer, United States Attorney’s Office, at (478) 621-2603 or Melissa Hodges, Public Affairs Director (Contractor), United States Attorney’s Office, at (478) 765-2362.

Updated February 9, 2021

Violent Crime