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Madison man sentenced to 8 years in prison for bank robbery and gun crime

BIRMINGHAM. – A federal judge sentenced a Madison man for robbing a bank and possessing a firearm.

U.S. District Judge Madeline H. Haikala sentenced Jose Guadalupe Pena, 22, to 96 months in prison on one-count of bank robbery and one-count of possession of a firearm in furtherance of a violent crime.  Pena pled guilty in June.

U.S. Attorney Prim F. Escalona and FBI Special Agent in Charge Johnnie Sharp, Jr. praised the investigative work by the Madison Police and FBI in their announcement on Tuesday

“By possessing a gun during the robbery, Pena placed bank employees in grave danger,” USA Escalona said.  “Those inclined to put the value of a dollar over the value of someone’s safety should consider the consequences before committing the crime.”

“Bank robberies are violent crimes that often can jeopardize the safety of bank employees, customers, and other members of the community,” FBI SAC Sharp said.  “Thanks to the great work of my agents and the Madison Police Department, Pena is off the street and paying the price for his crime.”

According to the plea agreement, on September 23, 2016, Pena robbed Eva Bank located in Madison. An employee of the bank was preparing to leave work for the day and saw Pena walking in front of the bank and looking inside.  Pena walked into the bank and told the teller that she could not leave.  He then approached another teller and demanded she give him all the money in her drawer. Pena showed both women a black semi-automatic handgun that he had tucked in the waistband of his pants.  He did not point the gun at either of them, but kept his hand on it.

At Pena’s command, the teller put approximately $2,467 in a grocery bag, to include bait money.

FBI investigated the case along with the Madison Police Department. Assistant U.S. Attorney Robert J. Becher, Sr. prosecuted the case.

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