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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
District of Maine

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, October 4, 2016

New Hampshire Woman Sentenced to Three Years for Armed Bank Robberies

Contact: Michael J. Conley
Assistant United States Attorney
Tel: (207) 780-3257

Portland, Maine:  United States Attorney Thomas E. Delahanty II announced that Crystal Dufault, 34, of Manchester, New Hampshire, was sentenced today in U.S. District Court by Chief Judge Nancy Torresen to three years in prison and five years of supervised release for armed bank robbery.  The charges arose from the August 14, 2015 armed robbery of Franklin Savings Bank (FSB) in Franklin, New Hampshire and the September 4, 2015 armed robbery of University Credit Union (UCU) in Portland. The defendant pled guilty on January 20, 2016.

According to court records, the defendant and a co-conspirator, Joseph Richards, brandished a pellet gun and stole $13,240 from FSB and $12,308 from UCU. 

On September 14, 2016, Chief Judge Torresen sentenced Richards to 15 years in prison and five years of supervised release for his involvement in the FSB and USU robberies as well as for the August 3, 2015 robbery of Norway Savings Bank in Freeport and the September 12, 2015 robbery of TD Bank (TD) in Lewiston. 

On July 28, 2016, a third co-conspirator, Neil West, Sr., of Portland, Maine, was found guilty following a jury trial in U.S. District Court of armed bank robbery and conspiracy to commit bank robbery arising out of the UCU and TD robberies.  West served as the getaway driver for both robberies.  The TD robbery resulted in a high-speed chase which culminated in Saco.  Following the chase, West and Richards were arrested.

U.S. Attorney Delahanty praised the cooperation among these law enforcement agencies noting that “these armed bank robberies were quickly solved because local, state, and federal law enforcement agencies across two states worked closely together.”

The joint investigation was conducted by the Franklin and Manchester (New Hampshire) Police Departments; the Freeport, Portland, Lewiston, Old Orchard Beach and Saco Police Departments; the Maine State Police; and the Southern Maine Gang Task Force comprised of agents and officers from the Federal Bureau of Investigation; the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives; the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration; U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations; and the Portland, South Portland, Lewiston and Biddeford Police Departments.

Topic(s): 
Violent Crime
Component(s): 
Updated October 6, 2016