August 27, 2014 / 11:06 PM / in 3 years

Two sentenced to combined 75 years for Florida bank robberies

MIAMI (Reuters) - Two South Florida men have been sentenced to decades in prison for their role in a month-long string of armed bank robberies that crisscrossed the state, netting an undisclosed sum.

U.S. District Judge Jose E. Martinez on Tuesday sentenced Anthony Isaac Johnson, 25, and Allen Demetrius Bradford, 23, to 35 years and more than 40 years, respectively.

Both men pleaded guilty to a lengthy list of charges that included interference with commerce by violence and multiple counts of carrying and using firearms.

Bradford, Johnson, and six others robbed five PNC Bank locations during early summer 2013. The group disguised their faces and hands before charging into banks carrying handguns, forcing customers to the floor, and jumping behind cashiers’ desks to grab any available money.

Earlier this year the other members of the group all pleaded guilty to charges related to the robberies and received sentences ranging from eight to 17 years.

The team used getaway drivers in stolen cars, one of which was found abandoned in Central Florida during an investigation into the group’s earlier robberies.

Their final scheme came on July 8, 2013 after an all-night meeting in which the group agreed to target a pair of banks.

“Each team would steal a van, rob each of the banks at gunpoint with their faces covered, leave the bank in the van, and transfer into the getaway vehicles, in order to flee the area,” according to a U.S. Department of Justice press release.

They split into two teams each with three men and a woman as a getaway driver. Both groups kept in touch by cellphones while traveling from West Palm Beach to central Florida, where they scouted potential targets and escape routes before snatching the two vans in which they would flee the scene and then ditch them.

They pulled off the heist, though federal officials apprehended the group later that month.

Reporting by Zachary Fagenson; Editing by Daniel Wallis and Sandra Maler

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