Westminster Man Sentenced to 66 Months in Prison for Conspiring to Commit Home-Invasion Style Robbery
The Office of the United States Attorney for the District of Vermont stated that Donald McCandless, 43, formerly of Norfolk, Virginia, was sentenced today in United States District Court in Burlington to 42 months’ imprisonment following his guilty plea to a charge that he attempted to rob the Vermont Federal Credit Union in Burlington last June. U.S. District Judge William K. Sessions III also ordered that McCandless serve three years of supervised release following completion of his prison term. McCandless has been detained since he first appeared in federal court last June.
According to court records, McCandless entered VFCU with an object in his pocket, stated he had a bomb, and demanded money. McCandless then approached a teller window and began punching the plexiglass barrier, knocking items off the counter. A customer conducting business at the bank grabbed McCandless and began pulling McCandless toward the exit of the bank. McCandless was given $10 in cash by a patron, and McCandless left the bank. Burlington Police Officers who responded to a 911 call and alarm at VFCU encountered McCandless on College Street wearing clothing consistent with that described by witnesses of the attempted robbery. McCandless was found with two $5 bills in his hand, and McCandless reported having been “doing meth” earlier in the day. At the time of his arrest, McCandless had a nonextraditable arrest warrant issued in Norfolk, Virginia for violating a term of probation imposed as part of his sentence for a 2020 conviction for felony strangulation. In the week prior to the attempted robbery, McCandless had multiple encounters with Burlington and South Burlington Police and was cited by South Burlington Police earlier on the day of the robbery for trespassing onto the Vermont Air National Guard Base with a knife.
United States Attorney Nikolas P. Kerest commended the quick response and investigation of the Burlington Police Department and thanked the Federal Bureau of Investigation for its assistance.
The prosecutor is Assistant U.S. Attorney Kimberly Ang. McCandless is represented by Assistant Federal Defender Steven Barth.