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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, July 17, 2019

Second Luzerne County Man Sentenced To More Than 13 Years’ Imprisonment For Armed Bank Robbery

SCRANTON - The United States Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Pennsylvania announced that Gerald Pambianco, age 30, of Plains Township, was sentenced on July 16, 2019, by United States District Court Judge Malachy E. Mannion to 161 months’ imprisonment for his role in an armed robbery of a bank in Luzerne County.

According to United States Attorney David J. Freed, Gerald Pambianco previously pleaded guilty to the charges of aiding and abetting an armed bank robbery and aiding and abetting the brandishing of a firearm in furtherance of a crime of violence, in connection with the robbery of the Luzerne National Bank in Plains Township, Luzerne County, which occurred on May 16, 2018.  On that date, Pambianco’s co-defendant, Derek Spaide, age 27, of Hanover Township, entered the bank, pointed a rifle at bank employees, and demanded money.  Approximately $8,204 was taken in the robbery.  Spaide then entered a vehicle driven by Pambianco, who engaged police in a high-speed chase on Route 81, reaching speeds in excess of 90 miles per hour.  Police were able to disable the getaway vehicle on Route 309 in Plains Township, and Pambianco was apprehended behind the wheel of the vehicle.  Spaide tried to flee from the vehicle, but was also apprehended by police.

Judge Mannion previously sentenced Spaide to serve 168 months’ imprisonment for his role in the robbery.

This matter was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Pennsylvania State Police, the Plains Township Police Department, and the Hanover Township Police Department.  The case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Robert J. O’Hara.

This case was brought as part of Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), a program that has been historically successful in bringing together all levels of law enforcement to reduce violent crime and make our neighborhoods safer for everyone.  The Department of Justice reinvigorated PSN in 2017 as part of the Department’s renewed focus on targeting violent criminals, directing all U.S. Attorney’s Offices to work in partnership with federal, state, local and tribal enforcement and the local community to develop effective, locally-based strategies to reduce crime.

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Topic(s): 
Project Safe Neighborhoods
Updated July 17, 2019