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Justice News

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

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Bronx Man Charged In White Plains Federal Court With Discharging A Firearm While Robbing A Yonkers Bank In October 2013

Preet Bharara, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, Diego Rodriguez, Assistant Director-in-Charge of the New York Field Office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (“FBI”), and Charles Gardner, the Commissioner of the Yonkers Police Department, announced the unsealing of a Complaint charging GIOVANNY MARTE, a/k/a “Gio,” with robbing a Wells Fargo Bank branch in October 2013 and discharging a firearm in furtherance of the robbery.  MARTE was arrested yesterday morning in the Bronx and was presented yesterday before U.S. Magistrate Judge Lisa Margaret Smith in White Plains federal court.

U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara stated:  “As alleged, Giovanny Marte committed a dangerous, violent bank robbery in broad daylight.  Together with his co-conspirators, he allegedly entered a Wells Fargo branch carrying a loaded firearm.  Marte allegedly fired two shots during the robbery – and fortunately did not hit anyone – before making off with more than $300,000 in cash.  This frightening crime occurred more than two years ago, but thanks to the tireless efforts of the FBI, the Yonkers Police Department, and the NYPD, this defendant will now be held to account in federal court.”

FBI Assistant Director-in-Charge Diego Rodriguez stated:  “The subject in this case was so intent on allegedly getting his hands on money that wasn’t his that he put lives in danger.  He’s accused of firing his weapon several times in his rush to get into the vault.  No bag of cash is worth a life.”

Yonkers Police Commissioner Charles Gardner stated:  “This case demonstrates that we will work with our federal and local partners to make sure those who choose to engage in violent crime in our city are held accountable. I would like to thank the F.B.I., the U.S. Attorney’s Office, and the N.Y.P.D. for their persistence in this lengthy investigation.”

According to the allegations in the Complaint[1]:

On or about October 29, 2013, at approximately 3:17 p.m., MARTE and three co-conspirators (“CC-2,” “CC-3,” and “CC-4”) approached a Wells Fargo Bank branch located at 500 Odell Avenue in Yonkers, New York (the “Wells Fargo Branch”).  MARTE, CC-2, and CC-3 entered the bank, while CC-4 remained in their vehicle.  The robbers all wore gloves and clothing hiding their faces.  MARTE and CC-3 each brandished a handgun, and CC-2 brandished a wood saw.  The robbers ordered everyone to the ground.  MARTE climbed onto the teller counter and pointed his gun at one of the tellers.  He then entered the vault room and demanded that the manager assist him in opening the vault.  As the manager tried to open the vault, MARTE fired two shots.  No one was hit.  Ultimately, MARTE accessed the vault, filled a bag with approximately $303,500 in cash, and fled the Wells Fargo Branch with CC-2 and CC-3.  The robbers re-entered their vehicle, and CC-4 drove them away.

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The Complaint charges GIOVANNY MARTE, a/k/a “Gio,” age 25, of the Bronx, New York, with conspiring to rob the Wells Fargo Branch in or about October 2013, robbing the Wells Fargo Branch on or about October 29, 2013, and carrying and discharging a firearm in furtherance of a violent crime.  The maximum and mandatory minimum sentences are as follows: a maximum of five years in prison on Count One (conspiracy); a maximum of 20 years in prison on Count Two (bank robbery); and a maximum of life in prison, with a mandatory minimum of 10 years in prison, on Count Three (firearm offense).  The maximum potential sentences in this case are prescribed by Congress and are provided here for informational purposes only, as any sentencing of the defendants will be determined by the judge.

Mr. Bharara praised the outstanding investigative work of the FBI’s Westchester Violent Crimes Task Force, which comprises agents and detectives of the FBI, United States Probation, the City of Yonkers Police Department, the City of Peekskill Police Department, the New York City Police Department, the Westchester County Police, and the Westchester County District Attorney’s Office.

The prosecution is being handled by the Office’s White Plains Division.  Assistant U.S. Attorney Douglas Zolkind is in charge of the prosecution.

The charges contained in the Complaint are merely accusations, and the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.


[1] As the introductory phrase signifies, the entirety of the text of the Complaint and the descriptions of the Complaint set forth below constitute only allegations, and every fact described should be treated as an allegation.


Updated May 25, 2016