For Immediate Release
Man Pleads Guilty to Armed Bank Robberies in Columbus and Springfield
COLUMBUS, Ohio – Lawrence W. Bell, Jr., 30, of Columbus, pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court here today to robbing two financial institutions two weeks apart in 2015 and brandishing a pistol during each robbery.
Benjamin C. Glassman, Acting United States Attorney for the Southern District of Ohio, Brad Earman, Acting Special Agent in Charge, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), Angela L. Byers, Special Agent in Charge, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Cincinnati Field Division, Reynoldsburg Police Chief Jim O’Neill, and Springfield Police Chief Stephen P. Moody, announced the guilty pleas entered today before Chief U.S. District Judge Edmund A. Sargus, Jr.
Bell pleaded guilty to two counts of bank robbery and two counts of brandishing a firearm in relation to a crime of violence. The plea agreement includes a recommended sentence of 288 months in prison. Judge Sargus will schedule a date for sentencing.
Testimony presented during the plea hearing attested that Bell robbed the First Service Credit Union on East Main Street in Reynoldsburg on June 17, 2015 and brandished a pistol at tellers. On June 30, 2015, Bell robbed the Fifth Third Bank on South Tuttle Road in Springfield.
Bell was arrested in South Carolina on January 7, 2016 and has been in custody since his arrest.
Acting U.S. Attorney Glassman commended the investigation of this case by law enforcement, and Assistant U.S. Attorneys Timothy Prichard and David Bosley, who are representing the U.S. in this case.