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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Southern District of Georgia

Friday, April 1, 2016

Savannah Man Sentenced To Nearly Thirteen Years in Federal Prison for Armed Bank Robbery

Savannah, GA: Jerald A. Bowman, 40, was sentenced on Wednesday, March 30, 2016, by Chief United States District Court Judge Lisa Godbey Wood to 155 months imprisonment for the February 3, 2015 armed robbery of the Navy Federal Credit Union in Richmond Hill, Georgia.  Bowman was also found to be responsible for armed robberies of the Georgia’s Own Credit Union in Savannah on September 30, 2014; the Wells Fargo Bank on Waters Road in Savannah on November 12, 2014; the Heritage Bank in Savannah on December 4, 2014; and the Wells Fargo Bank on Abercorn Street in Savannah on March 19, 2015.

Evidence showed that Bowman, who disguised his appearance during the robberies, conducted surveillance of the banks and used items such as rocks and door stops to hold the banks’ doors open.  He distracted tellers with questions about deposit slips or money orders, then pulled out a gun and demanded money.  In total, Bowman stole $15,055.00.

A military veteran, Bowman requested leniency from the Court based upon his service in the U.S. Army.  Evidence presented at the sentencing hearing, however, showed Bowman was involuntarily separated from the Army with an Other Than Honorable Discharge following a series of assaults and drug use.  Bowman insisted he suffered from mental stress as a result of combat deployments, but service records revealed Bowman never served in a theater of combat operations.  “Some people have earned the right to wrap themselves in the flag,” said Chief Judge Wood.  “But you, Mr. Bowman, are not one of them.” 

United States Attorney Edward J. Tarver said, “Criminals who commit violent acts and endanger the lives of innocent parties should be sentenced to the harshest penalties provided by law.  Protection of the American people is the Department of Justice’s number one priority.  This U. S. Attorney’s Office will continue its aggressive efforts to prosecute dangerous criminals and remove them from our communities.”

J. Britt Johnson, Special Agent in Charge, FBI Atlanta Field Office, stated, “The partnership formed between the FBI’s Southeast Georgia Violent Crime Task Force and local police to advance the investigation resulted in this sentencing and removed a dangerous individual from the streets of Savannah.  The FBI’s Task Force continues to partner every day with our local, state and federal partners to identify, investigate and arrest violent offenders to mitigate the threat they pose and to make our community a safer place.”

In addition to his prison sentence, Bowman was ordered to pay restitution and serve a period of supervised release after he is released from prison.  Regarding the length of the prison sentence, Tarver noted that there is no parole in the federal system.

U. S. Attorney Tarver commended the efforts of the FBI Southeast Georgia Violent Crime Task Force, the Richmond Hill Police Department, the Savannah-Chatham Metropolitan Police Department, and the Savannah Department of Community Service.  Assistant United States Attorneys Carlton Bourne, Jennifer Solari and Scarlett Nokes prosecuted the case.  For additional information, please contact First Assistant United States Attorney James D. Durham at (912) 201-2547.

Updated April 1, 2016