Seven Members of Armed Robbery Crew Sentenced for their roles in Virginia-Highland Wells Fargo Bank Robbery
Seven members of an Atlanta-based robbery crew have been sentenced for their roles in the February 2015 armed robbery of the Wells Fargo bank at the intersection of Virginia and North Highland Avenues in Atlanta, Georgia.
“This robbery crew targeted a bank at one of the busiest pedestrian thoroughfares in the city, at the height of the morning rush hour,” said U.S. Attorney John Horn. “The robbers stormed the bank, pointed loaded firearms directly at bank employees and customers, threatened to kill them, and stole over $20,000 from the bank’s safe and cash drawers. The robbers compounded their violence by leading law enforcement on a high-speed chase throughout metro Atlanta at speeds topping 170 miles per hour. The convictions and lengthy sentences for the members of this crew puts an end to their ability to inflict further violence and mayhem in our district.”
“I can’t imagine the terror those innocent victims inside the bank felt,” said David J. LeValley, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI Atlanta Field Office. “We are extremely fortunate that no one was physically hurt or killed in this rage of violence. Rarely do we see so much havoc created in such a short period of time in a very busy area. These seven suspects disregard for employees and customers of the bank, and motorists on our public streets is reprehensible. The lengthy sentences they received will not only stop them, but also send a message to anyone else who might think about committing this type of violence.”
According to U.S. Attorney Horn, the charges, and other information presented in court: On February 27, 2015, Bruce Brown, Kayode Philip Adeleye, and Ryan Vincent Hill arrived at a Wells Fargo Bank branch in Atlanta, Georgia, wearing hoods, masks, and gloves. Brown, Adeleye, and Hill entered the bank while Brown and Adeleye each brandished a loaded handgun. Brown stationed himself at the front door while Adeleye jumped over the teller counter and Hill walked behind that counter.
Adeleye pointed his gun into the back of one of the tellers and threatened to kill him if he did not open the bank’s safe. Adeleye forced another teller to the ground while pointing his gun at him and instructing him to lie face down. After one of the tellers opened the bank safe and cash drawers, Adeleye and Hill stole $22,343.40 in U.S. currency, and fled with Brown. The robbers escaped in a rental sport-utility vehicle bearing stolen tags. They later switched vehicles, twice, with help from Xavier Cornelius Shields, Connie Cristobul Montoya, and Joe Francisco Montoya.
The robbery crew consisted of seven individuals, all from metro Atlanta, which was led by Hill and Adeleye. Hill and Adeleye, along with Brown committed the armed robbery at gunpoint. Shields, C. Montoya, and J. Montoya assisted with the robbery by driving switch cars and acting as lookouts. Paris Lashay Paggett assisted with the concealment of evidence after the fact.
Using various investigative means, law enforcement located the fleeing robbers while they were still in transit. Officers and agents from the Atlanta and DeKalb County police departments, the Georgia State Patrol, and the FBI pursued the robbers as they traveled in a Mercedes AMG sports car leased and driven by Hill. The robbers led law enforcement on a high-speed chase through various highways and streets at speeds reaching up to 170 miles per hour. Law enforcement was unable to apprehend the robbers during the chase, but they did recover most of the stolen money, and several other items of evidence, at a residence in Ellenwood, Georgia, shortly after the robbery.
In the weeks that followed, the FBI, APD, and the Georgia Bureau of Investigation worked together to locate and develop evidence that identified the robbers. On June 17, 2015, a grand jury in the Northern District of Georgia returned an eight-count superseding indictment charging Hill, Adeleye, Brown, Shields, C. Montoya, J. Montoya, Paggett, and Tekevious Nicole Brandon with various offenses in connection with their roles in the robbery conspiracy. Hill, Adeleye, Brown, Shields, C. Montoya, and J. Montoya were charged with conspiracy to interfere with commerce by robbery and armed bank robbery. Hill, Adeleye, and Brown were also charged with brandishing a firearm during a crime of violence. Adeleye, C. Montoya, and J. Montoya were also charged with illegal possession of a firearm. Paggett and Brandon were charged as accessories after the fact.
Seven of the eight defendants pleaded guilty or were convicted at trial, and U.S District Judge Amy Totenberg imposed sentences on the three principal members of the crew as follows:
Ryan Vincent Hill, 28, of Atlanta, Georgia, was sentenced on May 9, 2017, to 17 years and one month in prison, followed by three years of supervised release. Hill had pled guilty to counts one (conspiracy) and two (armed bank robbery) on August 3, 2016. Hill proceeded to trial on count three (brandishing a firearm during a crime of violence). The jury convicted him on January 26, 2017.
Kayode Philip Adeleye, 34, of McDonough, Georgia, was sentenced on March 28, 2017, to 16 years in prison, followed by five years of supervised release. Adeleye had pled guilty to counts two (armed bank robbery) and three (brandishing a firearm during a crime of violence) on July 27, 2016.
Bruce Brown, 27, of East Point, Georgia, was sentenced on May 10, 2017, to 11 years and two months in prison, followed by three years of supervised release. Brown had pled guilty to counts one (conspiracy), two (armed bank robbery), and three (brandishing a firearm during a crime of violence) on January 4, 2017.
Xavier Cornelius Shields, 24, of Decatur, Georgia, was sentenced on March 24, 2017, to six years and eleven months in prison, followed by two years of supervised release. Shields had pled guilty to count one (conspiracy) on July 26, 2016.
Connie Cristobul Montoya, 39, of Mableton, Georgia, was sentenced on March 30, 2016, to 6 years and 6 months in prison, followed by three years of supervised release. C. Montoya had pled guilty to count one (conspiracy) on November 30, 2015.
Joe Francisco Montoya, 36, of Mableton, Georgia, was sentenced on November 12, 2015, to approximately seven months in prison, followed by ten months of supervised release. J. Montoya had pled guilty via criminal information to misprision of a felony on August 26, 2015.
Paris Lashay Paggett, 26, of College Park, Georgia, was sentenced on May 10, 2017, to three years of probation. Paggett had pled guilty via criminal information to misprision of a felony on December 2, 2016.
Tekevious Nicole Brandon, 36, of Atlanta, Georgia, had her charges dismissed on December 9, 2016, after successfully completing pretrial diversion under the conditions set forth in the parties’ pretrial diversion agreement.
This case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Georgia Bureau of Investigation, the Atlanta Police Department, the DeKalb County Police Department, and the Georgia State Patrol.
Assistant U.S. Attorneys John S. Ghose and Richard S. Moultrie, Jr. prosecuted the case.
For further information please contact the U.S. Attorney’s Public Affairs Office at USAGAN.PressEmails@usdoj.gov or (404) 581-6016. The Internet address for the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Georgia is http://www.justice.gov/usao-ndga.