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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Monday, December 4, 2017

Dunmore Man Charged With 14 Bank Robberies In Northeastern Pennsylvania

SCRANTON – The United States Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Pennsylvania announced today that on November 30, 2017, William Fischer, age 45, of Dunmore, Pennsylvania, was charged in a criminal information with 14 bank robberies, and with brandishing firearms during the course of those bank robberies.

 

According to United States Attorney David J. Freed, the information alleges that Fischer robbed 14 banks located throughout northeastern Pennsylvania between December 1, 2015 and September 13, 2017.  Fischer was apprehended shortly after the September 13, 2017, robbery by the Pennsylvania State Police.  For 12 of the offenses, Fischer was charged with robbing the banks while armed.  He also was charged with brandishing a firearm during a crime of violence.  Fischer’s crime spree netted $203,779; law enforcement recovered $16,769 of the stolen funds.

 

The United States is seeking forfeiture of 14 handguns, rifles, shotguns, and assault rifles, assorted ammunition, and a ballistic vest seized during the investigation.  The United States also is seeking forfeiture of a Scranton, Pennsylvania property.

 

The matter was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Pennsylvania State Police, and by numerous local law enforcement authorities throughout northeastern Pennsylvania.  Assistant United States Attorney Phillip J. Caraballo is prosecuting the case.

 

This case was brought as part of the Violent Crime Reduction Partnership (“VCRP”), a district wide initiative to combat the spread of violent crime in the Middle District of Pennsylvania. Led by the United States Attorney’s Office, the VCRP consists of federal, state and local law enforcement agencies whose mission is to locate, apprehend, and prosecute individuals who commit violent crimes with firearms.

 

Informations are only allegations. All persons charged are presumed to be innocent unless and until found guilty in court.

 

A sentence following a finding of guilt is imposed by the Judge after consideration of the applicable federal sentencing statutes and the Federal Sentencing Guidelines.

 

The maximum penalties under federal law for the combined charges is life imprisonment, a term of supervised release following imprisonment, and a fine.  The firearm charge carries a mandatory seven-year sentence that is to run consecutive to any sentence received for the bank robbery offenses.  Under the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, the Judge is also required to consider and weigh a number of factors, including the nature, circumstances and seriousness of the offense; the history and characteristics of the defendant; and the need to punish the defendant, protect the public and provide for the defendant's educational, vocational and medical needs. For these reasons, the statutory maximum penalty for the offense is not an accurate indicator of the potential sentence for a specific defendant.

 

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Topic(s): 
Violent Crime
Updated December 4, 2017