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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, September 12, 2019

Pittsburgh Felon Pleads Guilty to Bank Robbery and Firearms Charges

PITTSBURGH, Pa. - A former resident of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, pleaded guilty in federal court to charges of bank robbery and being a felon in possession of a firearm, United States Attorney Scott W. Brady announced today.

Christian Elijah Moore, age 29, pleaded guilty to two counts before Chief United States District Court Judge Mark R. Hornak.

In connection with the guilty plea, the court was advised that, on September 5, 2017, Moore walked into the First National Bank in Homestead, PA and asked for change. While the teller was providing him with change, Moore placed his wallet on the counter and stated that his friend wanted him to give her a note. In the note, Moore threatened to shoot the teller if he she did not provide him with money.

The teller provided Moore with $1,055.00, as well as a GPS tracking device. As Moore was walking from the bank, he removed identifiable clothing and left the items in the bushes of the homes along his path. Officers later recovered the gray Adidas jacket that he was wearing during the bank robbery from the bushes of a home near the bank. He then walked to a jitney station and asked for a ride to Oakland. The jitney driver proceeded across the Homestead Grays Bridge. Moore observed Homestead police, who were alerted to the area by the GPS device, and instructed the jitney driver to make a U-turn and proceed to Hazelwood. After observing the vehicle make a U-turn, police stopped the vehicle. Moore immediately stated that he had just robbed the bank and the jitney driver had nothing to do with it. Officers recovered a loaded Kel-Tec semi-automatic .9mm pistol as well as the money and tracking device from Moore. As part of his confession, Moore admitted that when he woke up that day, he decided to rob a bank because he needed money and did not like having to wait.

Chief Judge Hornak scheduled sentencing for January 16, 2020. The law provides for a maximum total sentence of not more than 20 years in prison, a fine of $250,000, or both. Under the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, the actual sentence imposed is based upon the seriousness of the offenses and the prior criminal history of the defendant.

Pending sentencing, the court ordered that Moore remain detained.

Assistant United States Attorney Shanicka L. Kennedy is prosecuting this case on behalf of the government.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation and Homestead Police Department conducted the investigation that led to the prosecution of Moore.

Topic(s): 
Firearms Offenses
Violent Crime
Updated September 12, 2019