SAVANNAH, GA (WTOC) - Five people have pled guilty to charges stemming from three separate armed bank robberies, all occurring during 2017.
17-year-old Javel Roberts of Valdosta pled guilty to Senior U.S District Court Judge William Moore on December 14th to armed robbery and to brandishing a gun during a bank robbery at the Garden City SunTrust Bank on September 7th. Roberts was also charged with the armed robberies of the Wells Fargo Bank at 10422 Abercorn Street on July 25th and on August 8th. Although Roberts is a juvenile, the U.S. Attorney's Office prosecuted Roberts as an adult. Roberts does face life in prison.
India Janette Henderson, 31, and Ira King, 39, have also pled guilty to Judge Moore on November 28th to aiding and abetting the SunTrust armed robbery. Both are facing up to 25 years in prison. Jamal Henderson, 30, pled guilty to being a convicted felon in possession of a handgun. Henderson faces up to 10 years in prison.
Orafein Jabre King, 20, was arrested on December 12th in Birmingham, Alabama. King was charged in a eight-count indictment from a federal grand jury to rob the Wells-Fargo and SunTrust banks, as well aiding and abetting in the three aforementioned robberies, aiding and abetting the carrying of a firearm during the bank robberies, and unlawfully transferring a handgun to a juvenile. If King is convicted, he faces no less than 57 years in prison and up to life in prison.
United States Attorney Bobby L. Christine said, "Our office will aggressively prosecute those who commit violent crimes in our neighborhoods and anyone who aids and abets them. Those who think they may avoid federal prosecution because of their youth, let this prosecution serve notice."
"It very disconcerting that anyone would brandish a weapon during a bank robbery, let alone a 17-year old youth," said David J. LeValley, Special Agent in Charge of FBI Atlanta. "The disregard for employees and customers is reprehensible. These arrests and prosecution of this case demonstrate the determination of the FBI Southeast Georgia Violent Crime Task Force and its local law enforcement partners to make our community a safer place."
U.S. Attorney Bobby Christine emphasizes that an indictment is only an accusation and does not label a suspect as guilty. All defendants are entitled to a fair trial.
The investigation into the three bank robberies was led by the FBI Southeast Georgia Violent Crime Task Force, along with assistance from Savannah-Chatham Police Department, and Garden City Police Department. Assistant United States Attorney Chris Howard is prosecuting these cases for the United States.