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Justice News

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

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Grand Jury Indicts Rochester Man For Involvement In Xerox Credit Union Robbery And On Various Weapons Offenses

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

ROCHESTER, N.Y.- Acting U.S. Attorney James P. Kennedy, Jr. announced today that a federal grand jury has returned two separate indictments charging Richard Leon Wilbern, 56, of Rochester, NY, with several felony crimes. In a two-count indictment, Wilbern is charged with the August 12, 2003, armed robbery of the Xerox Federal Credit Union which resulted in the death of Raymond Batzel. The charges carry a maximum sentence of life in prison. A second indictment charges Wilbern with the September 27, 2016, unlawful possession of a firearms by a previously convicted felon which carries a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Douglas E. Gregory, who is handling the case, stated that according to the first indictment, Wilbern entered the Xerox Federal Credit Union on the morning of August 12, 2003, carrying a large brief case and an umbrella wearing an FBI raid jacket, sunglasses, a United States Marshals badge, and a wig. The defendant then informed a credit union employee that he was present to conduct a security check. After encountering some resistance from the employee, Wilbern removed two firearms from the briefcase and informed the employee to retrieve cash from the teller station. As Wilbern began to lay other employees and patrons on the floor, he shot and killed Batzel near the front door of the credit union and then turned his aim to a second patron who had just entered the credit union.  Wilbern proceeded to shoot that second customer in the back as he turned and ran.  After the shootings, Wilbern returned to the front desk where he demanded and received a large amount of cash from the desk tellers. Wilbern then fled the scene, leaving behind the umbrella which was subsequently tested and discovered to contain his DNA.  

The second indictment states that Wilbern in 2016 possessed four firearms that he maintained at his girlfriend’s residence on Tubman Way in Rochester. Those weapons included:

• one Feather Industries Inc. Model AT-9, 9 mm rifle loaded with 25 rounds in the rifle magazine;
• one Norinco SKS rifle loaded with 11 rounds of 7.62 x 39 caliber ammunition;
• one SAA Model SA15 semi-automatic rifle along with two empty magazine clips; and 
• one Kel Tec model Sub 2000, .40 Smith and Wesson caliber rifle. 

Wilbern, who has two prior felony convictions, is prohibited under federal law from possessing any firearms. 

The defendant, who is currently being held without bail pending a detention hearing, will be arraigned on January 27, 2017, at 9:30 a.m. before U.S. Magistrate Judge Jonathan W. Feldman.

The indictments are the result of an investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, under the direction of Special Agent-in-Charge Adam S. Cohen; the Webster Police Department, under the direction of Chief Joseph P. Rieger; the New York State Police, under the direction of Major Richard Allen; the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives, under the direction of Special Agent-in-Charge Ashan Benedict; the Monroe County Sheriff’s Department, under the direction of Sheriff Patrick O’Flynn; the Rochester Police Department, under the direction of Chief Michael Ciminelli; the United States Marshals Service, under the direction of Charles Salina; and the Monroe County District Attorney’s Office, under the direction of Sandra Doorley. 

The fact that a defendant has been charged with a crime is merely an accusation and the defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.  

Updated January 25, 2017