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Press Release

Two Luzerne County Men Charged With Armed Bank Robbery

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 Gerald Pambianco, age 29, of Plains Township, Pennsylvania, and Derek Spaide, age 26, of Hanover Township, Pennsylvania, were indicted on May 22, 2018, by a federal grand jury on one count of conspiracy to use firearms in furtherance of a crime of violence, one count of armed bank robbery, one count of brandishing a firearm in furtherance of a crime of violence, and one count of being convicted felons in possession of firearms.

According to United States Attorney David J. Freed, the indictment alleges that on May 16, 2018, Pambianco and Spaide traveled to the Luzerne National Bank in Plains Township. Spaide placed a t-shirt over his face, entered the bank and pointed a rifle at a bank employee,  demanded money and stole approximately $8,204. Spaide then entered a vehicle driven by Pambianco, who drove away from the bank and engaged in a high-speed vehicle chase with police.

The investigation was conducted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Pennsylvania State Police, the Plains Township Police Department, and the Hanover Township Police Department. Assistant United States Attorney Robert J. O’Hara is prosecuting 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 make our neighborhoods safer for everyone. Attorney General Jeff Sessions 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 law enforcement and the local community to develop effective, locally-based strategies to reduce violent crime.

Indictments and Criminal 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 penalty for the armed bank robbery charge under federal law is 25 years of imprisonment, a term of supervised release following imprisonment, and a $250,000 fine. The charge of brandishing a firearm in furtherance of a crime of violence carries a mandatory minimum sentence of seven years, consecutive to any other sentence. 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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Updated May 24, 2018

Project Safe Neighborhoods