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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
District of Rhode Island

Thursday, July 20, 2017

North Providence Bank Robber Sentenced to Federal Prison

PROVIDENCE, R.I. – Joseph W. Lavoie, a/k/a Tammy M. Lavoie, 49, formerly of Providence, was sentenced today to 60 months in federal prison for robbing and setting fire to a bank in North Providence on July 6, 2016, announced Acting United States Attorney Stephen G. Dambruch, Acting North Providence Police Chief Christopher J. Pelagio, and Harold H. Shaw, Special Agent in Charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation Boston Division.

At sentencing, U.S. District Court Judge John J. McConnell also ordered Lavoie to serve 3 years supervised release upon completion of his prison term and to pay $30,256. 80 in restitution to repair damage to the bank and to replace currency lost as the result of the fire. The U.S. Sentencing Guidelines range of imprisonment in this matter is 70-87 months. The government recommended the court impose a sentence of 60 months in prison.

Lavoie pleaded guilty on April 26, 2017, to bank robbery by force or violence and use of fire to damage property used in interstate commerce.

According to court documents and information presented to the court, on July 6, 2016, Lavoie telephoned the FBI and threatened to rob and burn down a bank. Lavoie made the call while at the North Providence branch office of Citizens Bank. Lavoie made the call moments before he jumped over a counter and announced to a teller, “This is a robbery.”  Lavoie opened a cash drawer and began removing cash. During the robbery, Lavoie assaulted and threatened a female teller, and then ignited several items inside the bank.

North Providence Police Department patrol units were dispatched to the bank while the robbery was in progress. Officers entered the bank where they encountered and detained Lavoie who was located standing behind the teller counter.

The case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Gerard B. Sullivan.


Violent Crime
Jim Martin (401) 709-5357 email: on Twitter @USAO_RI
Press Release Number: 
Updated July 20, 2017