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Press Release

Luzerne County Man Sentenced To 84 Months’ Imprisonment For Committing Four Bank Robberies

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

SCRANTON - The United States Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Pennsylvania announced today that Damen Drakeford, age 30, of Wilkes-Barre, Luzerne County, was sentenced on March 7, 2024, by United States District Court Judge Julia K. Munley, to 84 months’ imprisonment for committing multiple bank robberies.

According to United States Attorney Gerard M. Karam, Drakeford previously entered a guilty plea and admitted to committing four bank robberies in July 2023: two in Pennsylvania and two New in Jersey.

Specifically, Drakeford admitted to robbing the following institutions:

            - Fulton Bank, Netcong, New Jersey, on July 7, 2023;

            - Provident Bank, Fair Lawn, New Jersey, on July 11, 2023;

            - Fidelity Bank, Upper Mount Bethel Township, Pennsylvania, on July 11, 2023; and

            - M&T Bank, Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania, on July 14, 2023.

 A total of $32,988 was taken in the robberies.  After the M&T Bank robbery in Stroudsburg, Drakeford was apprehended by members of the Pennsylvania State Police and the Stroud Area Regional Police Department, after he led the police on a high-speed vehicle chase, crashed his vehicle, and ran into the nearby woods where he was arrested by the police.

The charges against the defendant resulted from an investigation conducted by the Stroud Area Regional Police Department, the Pennsylvania State Police, and the FBI Safe Streets Task Force.  Members of the Fair Lawn and Netcong Police Departments in New Jersey, and the New Jersey State Police, also assisted with the investigation. Assistant United States Attorney Robert J. O’Hara prosecuted the case.

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 gun violence, and to make our neighborhoods safer for everyone. On May 26, 2021, the Department launched a violent crime reduction strategy strengthening PSN based on these core principles: fostering trust and legitimacy in our communities, supporting community-based organizations that help prevent violence from occurring in the first place, setting focused and strategic enforcement priorities, and measuring the results.


Updated March 7, 2024

Project Safe Neighborhoods