Virginia Woman Sentenced to 10 Years for Catoosa Teachers Federal Credit Union Robbery
ROME, GA—Pelaralyss Young has been sentenced to 10 years in federal prison for her role in the December 20, 2012, robbery of the Catoosa Teachers Federal Credit Union, in Ringgold, Georgia. Young’s co-conspirator, Laron Burns, was sentenced in the Eastern District of Michigan to 18 years in federal prison.
“Young and Burns targeted a small town credit union at a time when they thought it would be most vulnerable—the Christmas season,” said U.S. Attorney John Horn. “Armed with air pistols, they jumped a teller counter, broke a teller’s leg, and forced employees and customers into the vault, where they were held for the remainder of the robbery. We hope the resolution of this case will help restore the victims and citizens of Ringgold to feeling safe, and will deter anyone else from this senseless violence.”
“This was a very violent robbery and the two defendants in the matter are most deserving of the extensive federal prison sentences handed down. While the customer and bank employees turned victims are left to deal with their emotional or even physical trauma, the FBI and its law enforcement partners working this matter hope that these stiff prison sentences provide some solace toward their continued recovery,” said J. Britt Johnson, Special Agent in Charge, FBI Atlanta Field Office.
According to U.S. Attorney Horn, the charges, and other information presented in court: On December 20, 2012, Pelaralyss Young and Laron Burns, armed with realistic-looking air pistols, and wearing dark clothing, masks, and gloves, entered the Catoosa Teachers Federal Credit Union, in Ringgold, Georgia. Burns jumped over a teller counter and knocked a female bank employee to the ground, breaking her leg in the process. She was then forced to crawl at gun point into a room containing the bank’s safe. Other employees and customers were also forced at gun point into that room, where they were held for the remainder of the robbery.
The robbery was timed to occur immediately after a cash delivery, and the defendants fled with nearly $170,000. They also seized and fled with the cell phones of customers in order to prevent any attempts to alert police.
Pelaralyss Young, 27, of Alexandria, Virginia, was sentenced on October 30, 2015, by U.S. District Judge Harold L. Murphy, Northern District of Georgia, to 10 years in prison, to be followed by five years of supervised release. Young was convicted on these charges on August 13, 2015, after she pleaded guilty without a plea agreement.
Laron Burns, 45, of Flint, Michigan, was sentenced on April 13, 2015, by U.S. District Judge Laurie Michelson, Eastern District of Michigan, to 18 years, 3 months in prison, to be followed by three years of supervised release. Burns was convicted on these charges on December 17, 2014, after he pleaded guilty pursuant to a negotiated plea agreement that also resolved additional criminal conduct committed in Michigan.
Both defendants have also been ordered to pay $166,340 in victim restitution.
This case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Georgia Bureau of Investigation, the Catoosa County Sheriff’s Office, and the Ringgold Police Department.
Assistant United States Attorney John S. Ghose prosecuted the case.