Home Knoxville Press Releases 2013 Knoxville Resident Sentenced to 20 Years for Using Bomb During Bank Robbery

Knoxville Resident Sentenced to 20 Years for Using Bomb During Bank Robbery

U.S. Attorney’s Office June 19, 2013
  • Eastern District of Tennessee (865) 545-4167

KNOXVILLE, TN—Gordon Harold Williams, 49, of Knoxville, Tennessee, was sentenced on June 19, 2013, to serve 20 years in prison, by the Honorable Thomas Varlan, U.S. District Court Chief Judge. Upon his release from prison, Williams will serve five years of supervised release. He was also ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $1,546.

Williams pleaded guilty in July 2012 to the robbery of a BB&T Bank in Knoxville, Tennessee, in which Williams threatened bank tellers with a homemade bomb in a backpack.

According to a plea agreement on file with the U.S. District Court Clerk in support of the guilty plea, Williams confessed to having an explosive device in a backpack during the robbery. The device contained bottles of liquid accelerant, gun powder, bird shot, and metal screws and was designed to be detonated with additional liquid accelerant and a lighter. Williams obtained $1,546 from two bank tellers during the robbery.

Further investigation shortly after the robbery by Federal Bureau of Investigation Safe Streets Task Force (FBI SSTF) and Knox County Sheriff’s Office (KCSO) Major Crimes Unit led to an improvised explosive device located at a Fountain City address. Knoxville Police Department Bomb Squad and Knoxville Fire Department HAZMAT both responded to the scene and recovered the explosive device. The device was sent to the FBI Laboratory in Quantico, Virginia.

“These federal and local agencies collectively and effectively caused this individual to receive a serious sentence for a violent crime with multiple victims and the potential to cause great harm. We thank them for their efforts that keep us safe. With no parole in the federal system, Williams will serve this time, as he should. Others should note the consequences of these actions,” said U.S. Attorney Bill Killian

This matter was a joint investigation of the FBI SSTF and the KCSO Major Crimes Unit. Assistant U.S. Attorney David Lewen, Jr. represented the United States.