U.S. Attorney's Office
Western District of Virginia
(540) 857-2250
November 7, 2014

Three Sentenced for Roles in Armed Bank Robbery

ROANOKE, VA—Three individuals who were previously convicted of robbing Carter Bank and Trust in Ararat, Virginia, were sentenced this afternoon in the United States District Court for the Western District of Virginia in Roanoke.

Devin Montae Robinson, 23, of Kernersville, North Carolina, Jamel Clifton Allen, 37, of Holly Hill, South Carolina and Whitney Nicole Ceasar, 20, of Mount Airy, North Carolina, were previously convicted of charges related to the August 2, 2013 armed robbery of the Carter Bank and Trust on Ararat Highway in Ararat, Va. Specifically, Robinson and Allen pleaded guilty to armed bank robbery and use of a firearm in relation to a crime of violence and Ceasar pleaded guilty to bank robbery. Today in District Court, Robinson was sentenced to 120 months of federal incarceration. Allen was sentenced to 240 months of federal incarceration, and Ceasar was sentenced to 30 months of federal incarceration.

“These three defendants were just punished today for their brazen and dangerous bank robbery,” United States Attorney Timothy J. Heaphy said today. “We will continue to prioritize violent crimes involving firearms, as these acts have the potential for extreme danger to victims.”

According to evidence presented at previous hearings by Assistant United States Attorney Daniel Bubar, on August 2, 2013, Allen and Robinson drove to Carter Bank and Trust in Ararat, armed with handguns, for the purpose of robbing the bank. Just after 9:30 a.m. on August 2, 2013, Robinson, while wearing a mask and carrying a firearm, entered Carter Bank and Trust, threatened an employee, brandished the firearm, and through intimidation did steal $7,370.

While Robinson was robbing the bank, Allen was waiting for him in a car outside the bank. When Robinson exited the bank, Allen drove the two of them away from the bank. While Allen and Robinson fled the bank after the robbery, bystanders who had observed the robbery followed Allen and Robinson in their own car and took pictures of the robbers’ car and recorded the license plate number. Robinson fired at least two shots from his handgun back toward the eyewitnesses’ vehicle to scare them off. The bystanders stopped following and called 911.

Robinson and Allen then met Cesar, Robinson’s girlfriend at the time, at a pre-determined location and entered a second getaway vehicle that Cesar drove to further assist Robinson and Allen in fleeing the bank robbery. Ceasar drove Robinson and Allen to another location in North Carolina. Through details given by various eyewitnesses, law enforcement officials were able to locate the vehicles used in the robbery and eventually located the suspects.

The investigation of the case was conducted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Patrick County Sheriff’s Office, the Winston-Salem Police Department, the Virginia State Police and the Surry County Sheriff’s Office. Assistant United States Attorney Daniel Bubar and Special Assistant Steven Bans prosecuted the case for the United States.

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