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Press Release

Gastonia Man Sentenced To 11.5 Years Prison For Bank Robbery

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Western District of North Carolina

CHARLOTTE, N.C. – U.S. District Judge Max O. Cogburn, Jr. sentenced today James McConnell, 48, of Gastonia, N.C. to 138 months in prison, followed by three years of supervised release on charges stemming from an April 2012 bank robbery, announced Jill Westmoreland Rose, Acting U.S. Attorney for the Western District of North Carolina.

Acting U.S. Attorney Rose is joined in making today’s announcement by John A. Strong, Special Agent in Charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Charlotte Division, Chief Kerr Putney of the Charlotte Mecklenburg Police Department, and the Chief Robert C. Helton of the Gastonia Police Department.

According to court documents and today’s sentencing hearing, on April 11, 2012, McConnell robbed a BB&T branch located at 9200 S. Tryon Street, stealing $505 in cash.  Court records show that McConnell walked into the branch and told the bank teller he had a gun and demanded $2,500 in large bills.  Court records indicate that the teller told McConnell she did not have $2,500 and instead handed him $505 in small bills.  McConnell then fled with the money in his hand.  According to documents filed in the case, McConnell was arrested on June 16, 2012 on unrelated charges and was identified by a witness as the man captured on the bank’s cameras.

McConnell pleaded guilty in July 2014 to one count of bank robbery.  According to court documents and statements made in court, McConnell has two prior federal bank robbery convictions.

McConnell remains in federal custody and will be turned to the custody of the Federal Bureau of Prisons upon designation of a federal facility.  All federal sentences are served without the possibility of parole.

The investigation was handled by the FBI’s and the Charlotte Mecklenburg Police Department with assistance from the Gastonia Police Department.  The prosecution for the government was handled by Assistant U.S. Attorney Corey Ellis of the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Charlotte.

Updated July 13, 2015