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Justice News

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

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Bank Robber Sentenced to 115 Months in Federal Prison

Pro se defendant twice attempted to escape custody while awaiting trial

PORTLAND, Ore. – On Tuesday, September 5, 2017, United States District Court Judge Michael H. Simon sentenced Wes Edward Hamman, 46, to 115 months in federal prison followed by 3 years of supervised release. Hamman has also been ordered to pay $2,210 in restitution. On January 24, 2017, a federal jury found Hamman guilty of bank robbery in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 2113(a).

According to court documents, on April 20, 2016, Hamman robbed a Key Bank on SE Hawthorne Boulevard in Portland. Wearing a black hat, sunglasses and a surgical mask, Hamman approached the victim teller and demanded cash. The teller gave him $2,210 that included five bait bills and a tracking device. After the robbery, the Portland Police Bureau (PPB) received tracking information that Hamman was in a taxicab near SE 39th Avenue and SE Hawthorne Boulevard. PPB officers stopped the cab and arrested Hamman. Officers recovered a demand note and $2,140 that included all five bait bills and the tracking device.

While awaiting trial, Hamman engaged in two known attempts to escape custody. The first occurred on April 26, 2016 while Hamman was undergoing a medical evaluation at the Oregon Health and Sciences University (OHSU). During the evaluation, the defendant was shackled to a hospital bed. A Multnomah County Sheriff Deputy observed Hamman intentionally spill a cup of coffee onto the ground. When the deputy entered the room, Hamman lurched his body forward and put both hands on the deputy’s handgun. After disengaging from Hamman, the deputy order him to remain on the floor until additional officers arrived.

The second attempt occurred in June 2016, when Hamman mailed a letter to his son asking him to take part in an elaborate escape attempt. In the letter, Hamman proposed that he arrange to be transported back to the hospital where his son, donning a medical disguise and armed with a fake gun, would confront law enforcement officers and aid in his father’s escape. The letter was given to law enforcement officials and nothing became of Hamman’s plot, which would have resulted in a violent confrontation with law enforcement.

Hamman has four prior robbery convictions. In 2001, he was convicted of armed robbery in Nevada after walking into a cigarette store, pointing a firearm at the clerk and demanding money. Hamman was sentenced to 10 years in prison, but released on parole in 2003. In 2008,

Hamman committed three robberies and attempted a fourth in Washington State. He was convicted and sentenced to 87 months in prison.

"This defendant demonstrated a continuous pattern of violent action across three states before his latest arrest here in Oregon," said Billy J. Williams, United States Attorney for the District of Oregon. "His actions caused severe emotional trauma for his victims and endangered the community. I applaud the multi-agency investigative effort," continued U.S. Attorney Williams, "that resulted in the defendant’s swift apprehension and conviction."

"The sentence imposed on the defendant reflects the serious nature of bank robbery," said Loren Cannon, Special Agent in Charge for the FBI in Oregon. "The FBI is proud of the relationship with its law enforcement partners and working together we are able to get violent offenders off of our streets and make our community a safer place for all."

This case was investigated by the FBI, PPB and the United States Attorney’s Office for the District of Oregon and was prosecuted by Scott M. Kerin, Assistant United States Attorney for the District of Oregon.

Updated September 5, 2017