Jasper Man Sentenced to 11 Years in Prison for Walker County Bank Robbery and Bomb Threats
BIRMINGHAM—A federal judge today sentenced a Jasper man to more than 11 years in prison for robbing a Walker County bank, calling in bomb threats on a hospital and a highway bridge before the robbery, and possessing guns as a convicted felon, announced U.S. Attorney Joyce White Vance and FBI Special Agent in Charge Richard D. Schwein Jr.
U.S. District Judge Karon O. Bowdre sentenced BRANDON JOSEPH PEAKE, 33, to 11 years and three months in prison for the July 2013 armed robbery of Traders and Farmers Bank on Curry Highway in Jasper, and to brandishing a gun during the robbery, a Heckler & Koch .40-caliber pistol that he pointed at one of the tellers. The judge also sentenced Peake on three counts of being a convicted felon in possession of a firearm, and to charges of using a telephone to make false bomb threats against Walker Baptist Medical Center and a bridge spanning Alabama Highway 69. Peake pleaded guilty to all charges in December. Peake has remained in custody since his arrest in Tennessee about a week after the bank robbery.
Peake called in the bomb threats on July 5, 2013, before the afternoon bank robbery, according to his plea agreement with the government. Because of the threats, the hospital was evacuated, a police bomb squad dispatched, and the bridge and a stretch of Highway 69 closed.
A Walker County Sheriff’s deputy found the H&K .40-caliber pistol used in the robbery of Traders and Farmers Bank in woods near the bank. The gun was traced to Peake, who bought it in 2007. Peake, who was convicted in Jefferson County Circuit Court in August 2012 for felony possession of a controlled substance, was prohibited from possessing a firearm.
He admitted in his plea agreement that he had traveled to Tupelo, Miss., two days after the bank robbery to meet an acquaintance who sold him a Glock 9mm pistol and a Bushmaster .223-caliber semi-automatic rifle. A fourth gun Peake possessed illegally was a Beretta 9mm pistol, which was found July 11 in the Chattanooga hotel room where police arrested him for the Walker County bank robbery.
The FBI, Walker County Sheriff’s Office and the Walker County District Attorney’s Office investigated the case. Special Assistant U.S. Attorney E. Wilson Hunter prosecuted the case.