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Press Release

Bank Robber Sentenced to 14 Years in Federal Prison

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of Oregon

Portland, Ore. — James Joseph Bjorne Bennett, 55, most recently of Portland, Oregon and formerly of Fairbanks, Alaska, was sentenced to 168 months in prison today by United States District Judge Michael W. Mosman, for a string of bank robberies Bennett committed in the Portland area in September 2008.  On January 4, 2011, Bennett pleaded guilty to five counts of bank robbery and two counts of attempted bank robbery.  Upon release from custody, Bennett will serve a 3-year period of supervised release.

“Bank robbers endanger and intimidate tellers and bank employees, as well as anyone else who walks into the bank on the wrong day.” said U.S. Attorney S. Amanda Marshall.  “This defendant will have many years in prison to reflect upon the harm he caused numerous people in these seven banks who were just trying to do their jobs and their banking.”

Bennett was arrested by the U.S. Marshals Service in September 2008.  Bennett has admitted that on September 15, 2008, he robbed the Wells Fargo Bank on SE McLoughlin Blvd. in Milwaukie; on September 19, 2008, he robbed the West Coast Bank on Southwest Pacific Highway in Tigard; on September 22, 2008, he robbed the US Bank on NE Cornell Rd. in Hillsboro; on September 25, 2008, he attempted to rob the Bank of America on SE 82nd Avenue in Happy Valley and the KeyBank on SE McLoughlin Blvd. in Oak Grove, and he successfully robbed the US Bank on SE Third Street in Gresham; and on September 26, 2008, he robbed the Unitus Community Credit Union on SE Washington Street in Portland.  Judge Mosman ordered Bennett to pay full restitution to the victim banks, in the amount of $14,145.98.

This case stemmed from an investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, with invaluable cooperation and coordination from several local law enforcement agencies.  The case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Craig Gabriel and Stacie Beckerman.

Updated January 29, 2015