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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, July 29, 2016

Portland Man Found Guilty of Committing Two 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 Neil West, Sr., 65, was found guilty yesterday in U.S. District Court of armed bank robbery and conspiracy to commit bank robbery, following a jury trial. The charges arose from the September 4, 2015 robbery of the University Credit Union in Portland and the September 12, 2015 robbery of TD Bank in Lewiston.  West was found not guilty of robbing or conspiring to rob Norway Savings Bank on August 23, 2015.

According to evidence at trial and court records, co-conspirators Joseph Richards and Crystal Default robbed the two financial institutions and West was their getaway driver.  The TD Bank robbery resulted in a high-speed chase which terminated in Saco and resulted in the arrests of West and Richards.

At the time of both robberies, West was on federal supervised release stemming from a June 2013 conviction for Accessory After the Fact (Bank Robbery) for which he received a 41-month prison sentence.

West faces up to 25 years in prison and a $250,000 fine on the robbery charges and up to five years in prison and a $250,000 fine on the conspiracy charges.  He will be sentenced after completion of a presentence investigation report by the U.S. Probation Office. 

On January 20, 2016, Richards and Default pleaded guilty to armed bank robbery and conspiracy to commit bank robbery and await sentencing.

The joint investigation was conducted by the Franklin (New Hampshire), Manchester (New Hampshire), Freeport, Portland, Lewiston, Old Orchard Beach and Saco (Maine) 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 August 1, 2016