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Press Release

Princeton Couple Sentenced to Prison for Federal Robbery and Gun Crimes

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Southern District of West Virginia

BLUEFIELD, W.Va. – A Princeton husband and wife were sentenced to federal prison for federal robbery and gun charges, announced United States Attorney Mike Stuart.  Sarah K. Bailey, 39, and Michael Justin Bailey, 38, were each sentenced to federal prison for 16 years, and 20 years and 6 months, respectively.  Both defendants previously entered guilty pleas to conspiracy to commit Hobbs Act robberies and brandishing a firearm during and in relation to a crime of violence.  Stuart commended the investigative efforts of the Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) and the Southern Regional Drug and Violent Crime Task Force, with the assistance and co-operation of law enforcement personnel in the states of Virginia and North Carolina.

“A modern day Bonnie and Clyde – the Baileys committed heinous crimes,” said United States Attorney Mike Stuart.  “The exemplary work of law enforcement brought their string of violence to an end.  The Baileys will now be spending many years behind bars.”  

“These violent criminals threatened the safety of our communities,” stated ATF Special Agent in Charge Stuart Lowrey of the Louisville Field Division. “ATF, strives to be ‘no better partner’ to federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies. Together, we will continue to aggressively investigate, arrest and pursue prosecution of these offenders. Our shared commitment to reducing violent crime continues to make West Virginia safer for everyone.”

The Baileys previously admitted to robbing two separate video poker parlors in the Southern District of West Virginia.  The Baileys admitted that on October 26, 2017, they robbed a video poker parlor near Peterstown, West Virginia.  The Baileys further admitted that during the robbery, a 76 year old employee was struck several times in the head with a club, causing injury to the employee.  They admitted to then binding the employee with duct tape, and stealing money and personal items from this employee. 

The Baileys also previously admitted to committing another robbery as part of the conspiracy.  This robbery occurred near Bluefield, West Virginia on November 5, 2017.  On November 5, the Baileys went to a video poker parlor where Sarah Bailey had previously worked near Bluefield.  On this date, they used firearms that had previously been stolen to rob the video poker parlor.  During the robbery, the Baileys admitted to threatening an employee and customers with the firearms and again binding an employee with duct tape.  They further admitted to stealing nearly $5,000 and personal items and effects from the employee and customers.  The Baileys then fled to North Carolina where they were arrested after being found in possession of the money and other stolen items from both of the robbery locations.

Assistant United States Attorney Timothy D. Boggess handled the prosecutions.  Senior United States District Judge David A. Faber imposed the sentences.

Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN) is the centerpiece of the Department of Justice’s violent crime reduction efforts.  PSN is an evidence-based program proven to be effective at reducing violent crime. Through PSN, a broad spectrum of stakeholders work together to identify the most pressing violent crime problems in the community and develop comprehensive solutions to address them. As part of this strategy, PSN focuses enforcement efforts on the most violent offenders and partners with locally based prevention and reentry programs for lasting reductions in crime.


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Updated April 2, 2019

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