Columbus Man Pleads Guilty to Armed Bank Robbery in Whitehall
COLUMBUS, Ohio – Robert K. Mason, 42, of Columbus, pleaded guilty today in U.S. District Court to robbing a bank in Whitehall, pistol-whipping two of the bank’s employees while demanding money, and conspiring with his girlfriend to hide the gun he used in the robbery.
Benjamin C. Glassman, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Ohio; Todd Wickerham, Special Agent in Charge, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Cincinnati Division, Columbus Division of Police Acting Chief Tom Quinlan, and Whitehall Police Chief Mike Crispen announced the plea entered today before Chief U.S. District Judge Edmund A. Sargus, Jr.
Mason pleaded guilty to one count of bank robbery, punishable by up to 25 years in prison. He also pleaded guilty to one count of using a firearm during a crime of violence, which carries a minimum punishment of seven years and up to life in prison, and one count of conspiracy to tamper with evidence, which is punishable by up to 20 years in prison.
In a statement of facts in the plea agreement, Mason admitted that he robbed the Huntington Bank at 4550 East Broad Street on September 26, 2018. Mason walked in the bank, lifted his shirt to show that he had a gun, pulled the handgun and ordered customers to the floor. Mason vaulted the counter and demanded money from the tellers, hitting two of them with the gun when he became frustrated at the speed of the employees.
Mason ran out the front door and escaped in a car driven by his girlfriend, Bretta L. Nallen. Whitehall police arrested Mason on October 31. While he was in custody, he called Nallen and told her to get rid of the gun. Nallen is facing charges of being an accessory to the crime and evidence tampering.
U.S. Attorney Glassman commended the cooperative investigation by law enforcement and assistant U.S. attorneys David DeVillers and Courter Shimeall, who are representing the United States in this case.
# # #