“Bearded Bandit” Convicted of Armed Bank Robberies
|U.S. Attorney’s Office October 19, 2010|
CHARLOTTE, NC—A federal jury in the Western District of North Carolina, Charlotte Division, convicted Michael Gene Terrelonge, 42—also known as the “Bearded Bandit”—for his armed robberies of two Charlotte area banks and a Charlotte area credit union. The jury’s guilty verdict on October 19, 2010, followed nearly two days of evidence involving evidence of Terrelonge’s robbery of each bank or credit union on multiple occasions over the past six years. The robberies were investigated by the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department (CMPD) and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).
The indictment charged Terrelonge with robbing the Wachovia Bank branch at 10210 Couloak Drive, Charlotte, North Carolina; the Clearview Federal Credit Union at 2830 Boyer Street, Charlotte, North Carolina; and the RBC Bank Branch at 1000 East Boulevard, Charlotte, North Carolina. The jury found that Terrelonge robbed each bank at gunpoint.
The evidence at trial was that Terrelonge was apprehended while fleeing from the scene of the October 1, 2009, armed robbery of the Wachovia Bank branch on Couloak Drive. In the getaway van driven by co-defendant Latries George, who pled guilty before trial, CMPD Officers found the hat, mask, gloves, and 9mm semiautomatic pistol used to rob the Wachovia Bank branch. Terrelonge had a loaded .38 special revolver in his waistband and was wearing a bulletproof vest. Evidence at trial showed that Terrelonge admitted to being the “Bearded Bandit,” and detailed his involvement in a number of area armed bank robberies from 2004 to 2009.
Today’s announcement is made by U.S. Attorney Anne M. Tompkins, who is joined by Owen Harris, Special Agent in Charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation in North Carolina, and Chief Rodney Monroe of the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department. “The Bearded Bandit’s adventures in this District are over. Those who would rob banks should hear this jury’s verdict loud and clear: we will catch you, and you will be convicted,” said U.S. Attorney Anne M. Tompkins of the Western District of North Carolina.
Following Tuesday’s conviction, Chief U.S. District Judge Robert J. Conrad, Jr. announced that sentencing would take place on a later date, and that Terrelonge would be held in the custody of the United States Marshal’s Service pending that hearing. Federal law calls for a mandatory sentence of 57 years’ imprisonment for the firearm offenses of which Terrelonge was convicted, to be served consecutively to the sentence imposed for the robberies. The statutory maximum punishment for each of the three armed bank robbery offenses of which he was convicted is 25 years’ imprisonment. Terms of imprisonment in the federal system are served without the possibility of parole.
The case was investigated by the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department and the FBI. The prosecution was handled for the government by Assistant U.S. Attorney Mark A. Jones of the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Charlotte.
Michael Gene Terrelonge, 42
Charlotte, North Carolina