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Press Release

Two Men Indicted On Bank Robbery And Firearms Charges

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

The United States Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Pennsylvania announced today that Sharif Layton, age 38, and Jamal Cooper, age 29, both of Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, were indicted on April 12, 2017, by a federal grand jury for conspiracy, bank robbery, unlawful possession of a firearm, and possession of a firearm in furtherance of a crime of violence.


According to U.S. Attorney Bruce D. Brandler, the indictment alleges that Layton and Cooper robbed the Juniata Valley Bank located in Burnham, Pennsylvania, on March 27, 2017, in which over $20,000 in cash was taken. The indictment also alleges that Layton and Cooper were in possession of a .40 caliber, Sig Sauer handgun during a crime of violence. Layton and Cooper are convicted felons, making it illegal for them to possess a firearm.


It is further alleged that following the robbery, Layton and Cooper led officers of the Mifflin County Regional Police Department and the Pennsylvania State Police on a high speed chase for several miles, until their vehicle was disabled using spike strips.


The matter was investigated by the Mifflin County Regional Police Department, the Pennsylvania State Police, and the FBI Capital City Violent Crimes Task Force. Capital City Violent Crimes Task Force consists of representatives from the FBI’s Harrisburg Field Office and the Harrisburg Police Department. Assistant U.S. Attorney Scott R. Ford 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.


Indictments 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 these offenses is life imprisonment, a term of supervised release following imprisonment, and a fine. 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 April 13, 2017

Firearms Offenses