05/22/2019 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 05/22/2019 17:04
RICHMOND, Va. - A North Carolina man was sentenced today to 18 years in prison for committing two armed bank robberies.
According to court documents, Allen E. Piner, Jr., 46, of Wallace, robbed the Argent Federal Credit Union and the Citizens Bank & Trust, both at gunpoint, on two separate occasions. On Sept. 1, 2017, Piner walked into the Citizens Bank & Trust, located in Chester brandishing a firearm and demanding money from two tellers working at the counter. In fear for their lives, the tellers gave Piner $5,000 before he fled the scene and got away.
On Oct. 11, 2017, Piner walked into the Argent Federal Credit Union, located in Midlothian, and pointed a firearm at the teller, demanding cash from her drawer. Fearing for her life, the teller complied with Piner's demands, but unknown to Piner, the teller gave him currency with a GPS tracker. Local law enforcement tracked Piner within minutes, setting up a roadblock a short distance from the bank. After a short car chase, Piner fled his vehicle and scaled a fence while armed. When Piner turned toward the pursuing officers with his gun, a Chesterfield Police officer shot Piner one time to disable him, after which officers promptly rendered lifesaving first aid to him. The money, GPS tracker, and a firearm were all recovered at the scene.
This is part of Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), which is the centerpiece of the Department of Justice's violent crime reduction efforts. PSN is an evidence-based program proven to be effective at reducing violent crime. Through PSN, a broad spectrum of stakeholders work together to identify the most pressing violent crime problems in the community and develop comprehensive solutions to address them. As part of this strategy, PSN focuses enforcement efforts on the most violent offenders and partners with locally based prevention and reentry programs for lasting reductions in crime.
This case was investigated by the FBI's Richmond's Central Virginia Violent Crimes Task Force.
G. Zachary Terwilliger, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia, and David W. Archey, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI's Richmond Field Office, made the announcement after U.S. District Judge John A. Gibney Jr. accepted the plea. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Peter S. Duffey and David V. Harbach II are prosecuting the case.
The Chesterfield Police Department provided significant assistance during the investigation.
A copy of this press release is located on the website of the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Eastern District of Virginia. Related court documents and information are located on the website of the District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia or on PACER by searching for Case No. 3:18-cr-15.