Two Kershaw County Men Plead to Armed Bank Robbery
Contact Person: Stacey Haynes (803) 929-3000
Columbia, South Carolina ---- United States Attorney Beth Drake stated that Yancey Kevon Wilson, age 23, and Randy Jones, Jr., age 23, both of Kershaw County plead guilty in federal court today to various charges stemming from the June 23, 2015, armed robbery of Sandhills Bank in Bethune, South Carolina. Wilson plead guilty to armed bank robbery, use/possession/discharge of a firearm in connection with a crime of violence, and felon in possession of a firearm and ammunition, all in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Sections 922(g)(1), 924(c), 2113(a), and 2113(d). Jones plead guilty to conspiracy to commit armed bank robbery and aiding and abetting the use/possession/discharge of a firearm in connection with a crime of violence, all in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Sections 371 and 924(c). Chief United States District Judge Terry L. Wooten of Columbia accepted the guilty pleas and will impose sentences after he has reviewed the presentence reports, which will be prepared by the U.S. Probation Office.
Evidence presented in court during the guilty plea hearing established that on the early morning hours of June 23, 2015, Wilson, while armed with a Smith and Wesson .40 caliber handgun and wearing a white hoodie, sunglasses, and gloves, approached a bank employee outside the bank and forced her at gunpoint to get him inside the locked bank building. Once inside the bank, Wilson brandished the firearm and demanded money. After obtaining money, Wilson fled from the bank and discharged the firearm twice outside the bank. Witnesses heard the shots fired and observed a dark colored vehicle, later determined to be driven by Jones, with paper tags pick up Wilson and flee the scene. On June 25, 2015, deputies with the Kershaw County Sheriff’s Department located Jones and Wilson, along with another individual with a vehicle fitting the description of the get-away vehicle at a carwash in Lugoff. Further investigation lead to the discarded clothes worn by the bank robber, Wilson, and the empty bank bag from Sandhills Bank, all of which was found on the side of a road where Jones told investigators they left them. DNA analysis revealed Wilson’s DNA on the discarded white hoodie. Additionally, the two fired .40 caliber shell casings recovered from the scene of the bank robbery were matched to a Smith and Wesson .40 caliber firearm purchased by Jones in February 2015. Finally, text messages were recovered from a cell phone showing that Wilson and Jones planned the bank robbery in advance. Wilson is prohibited from possessing a firearm and ammunition by virtue of his prior state convictions for strong arm robbery and assault and battery 1st degree.
Wilson faces a maximum of twenty-five years imprisonment, a fine of $250,000, and three years of supervised release on the armed bank robbery charge, as well as a maximum of ten years imprisonment, a fine of $250,000, and three years of supervised release on the felon in possession of a firearm and ammunition charge. Jones faces a maximum of five years imprisonment, a fine of $250,000, and three years of supervised release on the conspiracy charge. Additionally, both Wilson and Jones face a statutory mandatory minimum ten years imprisonment with a maximum of life imprisonment, which will be served consecutively to the other terms of imprisonment, a fine of $250,000, and five years of supervised release on the use/possession/discharge of a firearm during a crime of violence charge. Both Wilson and Jones will also be required to make restitution to the bank.
The case was investigated by the Kershaw County Sheriff’s Department, the Bethune Police Department, the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division (“SLED”), and the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Assistant United States Attorney Stacey D. Haynes of the Columbia office handled the case.