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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
District of South Carolina

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, May 3, 2022

Hartsville Man who Attempted Drive-Thru Bank Robbery by Taxicab Sentenced to 6 Years in Federal Prison

Florence, South Carolina --- Angel Luis Masdeu, 59, of Hartsville, has been sentenced to 6 years in federal prison after pleading guilty to attempted bank robbery.

Evidence presented to the court showed that on February 25, 2021, Masdeu took a taxicab to a bank in Hartsville where he directed the taxi driver to enter the drive-thru line and place an envelope in the pneumatic tube. The bank teller received the envelope, which contained a torn, handwritten note demanding all money from all drawers and threatening to kill and/or blow up the bank. The teller activated the alarm, and officers with the Hartsville Police Department were dispatched to the bank. After arriving on scene, officers located the taxicab in the drive-thru line and detained Masdeu. Upon searching the taxicab, officers located several envelopes matching the envelope that was used to send the note and part of a torn paper matching the tear on the note. Officers determined the taxi driver was not involved in the attempted bank robbery.

United States District Judge Sherri A. Lydon sentenced Masdeu to 72 months in federal prison, to be followed by a three-year term of court-ordered supervision. There is no parole in the federal system.

The case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and the Hartsville Police Department.

This case was prosecuted as part of the joint federal, state, and local Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), the centerpiece of the Department of Justice’s violent crime reduction efforts.  PSN is an evidence-based program proven to be effective at reducing violent crime. Through PSN, a broad spectrum of stakeholders work together to identify the most pressing violent crime problems in the community and develop comprehensive solutions to address them. As part of this strategy, PSN focuses enforcement efforts on the most violent offenders and partners with locally based prevention and reentry programs for lasting reductions in crime.

Assistant United States Attorney Lauren Hummel prosecuted the case.

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Topic(s): 
Project Safe Neighborhoods
Violent Crime
Component(s): 
Contact: 
Derek A. Shoemake (843) 813-0982
Updated May 3, 2022