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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, August 19, 2022

Buffalo Man Pleads Guilty For His Role In String Of Credit Union Robberies

CONTACT: Barbara Burns
PHONE: (716) 843-5817
FAX #: (716) 551-3051

BUFFALO, N.Y.- U.S. Attorney Trini E. Ross announced today that Ronald Morris, 47, of Buffalo, NY, pleaded guilty to aggravated bank robbery, attempted bank robbery, and using, possessing, and brandishing a firearm in furtherance of a crime of violence before U.S. District Judge Richard J. Arcara. The charges carry a mandatory minimum penalty of seven years in prison, a maximum of life, and a $250,000 fine.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Joshua A. Violanti, who is handling the case, stated that Morris was involved in robbing three credit unions:

• On February 27, 2019, Morris a/k/a Cracks and Adrian D. Applewhite entered the Tonawanda Community Federal Credit Union on Delaware Street in Tonawanda, armed with a firearm. The two men forcibly took approximately $111,992.18 in United States currency before fleeing in a vehicle.                
• On July 25, 2019, the defendant and Myron McCollum entered the South Towns Community Federal Credit Union on South Park Avenue in Lackawanna wearing dark colored clothing and face masks and conducted a bank robbery with pepper spray and a pistol. Morris and McCollum traversed the teller’s counter, sprayed the tellers with pepper spray, and went to the unlocked safe, forcibly taking $290,500 in United States currency.                 
• On November 7, 2019, Morris and Carl Wilson and Myron McCollum, armed with a pistol and donning masks and gloves, entered the Clarence Community and School Federal Credit Union on Sheridan Drive in Clarence, and conducted a bank robbery while Applewhite, the getaway driver, sat in a car nearby. Morris and his accomplices ordered all the employees to the ground and demanded money.  Wilson and McCollum went behind the teller line and went through teller’s drawers, while Morris went to the vault. They forcibly took $148,793.90 in United States currency. 

Carl Wilson and Applewhite were previously convicted, charges remain pending against Myron McCollum.

The plea is the result of an investigation by the New York State Police, under the direction of Major Eugene Staniszewski; the Federal Bureau of Investigation, under the direction of Special Agent-in-Charge Stephen Belongia; the Lackawanna Police Department, under the direction of Chief Mark Packard; the Evans Police Department, under the direction of Chief Douglas J. Czora; and the Tonawanda Police Department, under the direction of Chief James P. Stauffiger.

Sentencing is scheduled for December 1, 2022, before Judge Arcara. 

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Topic(s): 
Financial Fraud
Firearms Offenses
Updated August 19, 2022