Savannah Man Convicted of Armed Robbery of Wells Fargo Bank Branch
SAVANNAH, GA: On January 11, 2017, following a two-day trial before U.S. District Judge William T. Moore, Jr., a federal jury convicted Lamarlvin Arkeena Watts, 22, of armed bank robbery and brandishing a firearm during a crime of violence.
According to the evidence presented at trial, Watts veiled himself with a camouflage bandana and invaded the Wells Fargo branch at 1900 E. Victory Drive in Savannah at approximately 10:10 a.m. on July 14, 2015. With his finger on the trigger of a semiautomatic pistol, Watts threatened to shoot two of the bank’s tellers if they refused to surrender the cash in their control. Although Watts made off with more than $2,300.00, he was quickly identified as the perpetrator and arrested the following day. Searches of Watts’ house and vehicle revealed the shoes and one of the disposable gloves worn during the robbery, several hundred dollars of cash, and more than a dozen rounds of ammunition compatible with the gun Watts used to threaten the tellers. Hours after the robbery, Watts hired a convicted felon to cover up distinctive tattoos on his throat and forehead that were visible in the bank’s surveillance video footage, which law enforcement had disseminated through the media to enlist the public’s assistance in identifying the robber.
For his commission of armed bank robbery, Watts faces a term of imprisonment of up to 25 years, a fine of up to $250,000, and up to five years of supervised release. He must also make restitution to Wells Fargo. For brandishing a firearm during the bank robbery, Watts will be required to serve at least 7 additional years in prison. There is no parole in the federal system.
United States Attorney Edward J. Tarver stated, “Savannah is the Hostess City of the South; not the Wild West. This office will continue to aggressively prosecute violent offenders who endanger the community through their criminal misuse of firearms.”
The Federal Bureau of Investigation, the FBI’s Southeast Georgia Violent Crimes Task Force, and the Savannah-Chatham Metropolitan Police Department investigated the robbery with substantial assistance from the ATF and the GBI’s Division of Forensic Sciences.
Assistant United States Attorneys Theodore S. Hertzberg and Tania D. Groover prosecuted the case on behalf of the United States. For additional information, please contact First Assistant United States Attorney James D. Durham at (912) 201-2547.