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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Northern District of Georgia

Monday, February 2, 2015

Atlanta Man Sentenced For Attempted Armed Bank Robbery

ATLANTA – Gerry Sanders has been sentenced to fourteen years and six months in prison for the attempted armed robbery of a Citizens Trust Bank in Decatur, Ga. in September 2012.

“This defendant’s use of a toy gun during an armed bank robbery led the security guard of the bank to fire his weapon several times, seriously harming not only the defendant, but also a bank teller,” said Acting United States Attorney John Horn.  “His violent acts led to both physical and emotional injuries to innocent people.”

J. Britt Johnson, Special Agent in Charge, FBI Atlanta Field Office, stated:  “This case represents the dangerous consequences set in motion when a person goes into a bank and announces a robbery.  The defendant in this case demonstrated a complete disregard for others when he chose to rob the Citizens Trust Bank and, having a history for such reckless criminal behavior, he will now be held accountable with a lengthy prison sentence.”

“The reprehensible acts of this defendant put the lives of innocent people at risk and left physical and emotional scars that will last a lifetime, “said Interim DeKalb Police Chief James Conroy.  “I only hope the sentencing of this defendant helps the healing process for these innocent victims.”

According to Acting United States Attorney Horn, the charges and other information presented in court: On September 19, 2012, at approximately 9:10 a.m., Sanders burst through the front doors of the Citizens Trust Bank, located in Decatur, Ga., and pointed what appeared to be a semi-automatic handgun as he quickly approached a bank teller.  He then pushed aside a customer whom the teller was assisting and stated, “Give me all the hundreds you have,” while pointing the weapon at the teller.  Sanders also pushed a light colored pillow case through the porthole of the glass at the teller's window.  

As the teller was putting cash from her teller drawer into the pillow case, the bank security guard yelled at Sanders to “Freeze, drop the gun!”  Sanders turned, pointed his weapon at the bank security guard, and started moving toward him.  The guard fired several shots, striking Sanders in the leg.  A bullet also grazed the leg of a bank teller, resulting in a serious and long-lasting injury.  The bank security guard detained Sanders until DeKalb County Police Officers and FBI agents arrived.  After Sanders was arrested, the weapon he used was determined to be a toy gun.

Sanders, 42, of Atlanta, Ga., was sentenced to fourteen years, six months in prison, to be followed by five years of supervised release.  Sanders was convicted of these charges on October 1, 2014, after a jury trial.

This case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the DeKalb County Police Department.

Assistant United States Attorney Suzette A. Smikle prosecuted the case.

For further information please contact the U.S. Attorney’s Public Affairs Office at or (404) 581-6016.  The Internet address for the home page for the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Georgia Atlanta Division is

Updated April 8, 2015