November 4, 2014

Trio Charged Federally with Aiding and Abetting Series of Robberies

The United States Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Pennsylvania announced today that an Indictment has been filed by a grand jury in Scranton against Charles Conden, age 48, and Cindy Conden, age 28, both of Hanover Township, and James Hughes, age 26, Nanticoke, charging them with aiding and abetting in the commission of multiple robberies.

According to United States Attorney Peter Smith, Jeffrey Townsley, age 43, Kingston, engaged in an 18-day crime spree beginning on December 24, 2013 and ending on January 10, 2014. The crimes included two bank robberies and seven robberies of local businesses. Townsley was arrested on January 10, 2014 and remains in custody in the Lackawanna County Prison.

The indictment returned today charges Charles Conden with aiding and abetting Townsley in the commission of the robberies at Aldi’s Market in Kingston on January 7, 2014, Thomas’ Market in Larksville on January 8, 2014, and the Family Dollar in Ashley on January 10, 2014. Cindy Conden and James Hughes are charged with aiding and abetting Townsley in the commission of the Aldi’s robbery.

The maximum penalties in this case include two years’ incarceration for each robbery, and fines of $250,000. The indictment today is the result of an investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation with the assistance of police departments of Kingston, Kingston Township, Larksville, Hanover Township, Wilkes-Barre, Plains, and Ashley, and the Luzerne County District Attorney Detectives. Prosecution is assigned to Assistant United States Attorney Michelle Olshefski.

Indictments and Criminal Informations are only allegations. All persons charged are presumed to be innocent unless and until found guilty in court.

A sentence following a finding of guilty is imposed by the Judge after consideration of the applicable federal sentencing statutes and the Federal Sentencing Guidelines.

Under the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, the Judge is also required to consider and weigh a number of factors, including the nature, circumstances and seriousness of the offense; the history and characteristics of the defendant; and the need to punish the defendant, protect the public and provide for the defendant’s educational, vocational and medical needs. For these reasons, the statutory maximum penalty for the offense is not an accurate indicator of the potential sentence for a specific defendant.