Thursday, August 5, 2010

Former “Most Wanted Fugitive” Receives Two Life Sentences for Four-State Bank Robbery Spree

ANTHONY RAY ARTRIP, 38, of Ashland, Kentucky, was sentenced today by United States District Judge Harold L. Murphy to serve the remainder of his life in federal prison on charges of armed robbery of banks in Calhoun, Georgia; Mt. Airy, North Carolina; Princeton, West Virginia; Marmet, West Virginia; and Frenchtown Township, Michigan.

“Today’s sentencing puts an end to the criminal career of a man who brazenly made his way across half of the United States robbing banks and terrorizing citizens, and brings justice and closure to the many victims of his crimes,” said United States Attorney Sally Quillian Yates.

Atlanta FBI Special Agent in Charge Brian D. Lamkin said, “Artrip failed to take advantage of the many opportunities given to him to set his life on the proper path. Much effort and many resources from not only the FBI but other law enforcement entities were expended in investigating, tracking, and ultimately capturing him. It is with some sense of satisfaction that the criminal justice community, along with other potential victims, will not have to face Artrip on the streets again.”

ARTRIP was sentenced to serve two life sentences without the possibility of release under the federal “three strikes” law, and he was ordered to pay restitution to the banks he robbed in the total amount of $100,132.00. ARTRIP pleaded guilty to these charges on June 22, 2010.

According to United States Attorney Yates, the charges and other information presented in court: ARTRIP robbed the Regions Bank in Calhoun, Georgia, on the morning of September 27, 2007, when he walked into the bank, brandished a handgun, and jumped the teller counter to get money. While pointing the handgun at the tellers, ARTRIP told them not to worry and referred to them as “ladies” and “sweetie,” and even told them to have a good day when he left the bank with nearly $20,000.

The robbery of the Regions Bank in Calhoun, Georgia, was part of a several-month-long multi-state crime spree in the summer and fall of 2007, that began when ARTRIP escaped from the Grant County Detention Center in Williamstown, Kentucky, on June 24, 2007. Over the next three months, ARTRIP robbed banks in West Virginia, North Carolina, Georgia, and Michigan, slipping away from near-capture by authorities many times. Shortly after his robbery of the Regions Bank in Calhoun, Georgia, ARTRIP narrowly escaped capture by police in Chattanooga, Tennessee. However, on October 8, 2007, ARTRIP’s luck ran out and he was captured by U.S. Marshals in a Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, hotel. According to reports, ARTRIP had crawled into an air vent to try and evade justice yet again, but Marshals evacuated the hotel and used tear gas to flush ARTRIP out. During this criminal odyssey, ARTRIP was placed on the U.S. Marshal’s Most Wanted List, and was featured on the television show “America’s Most Wanted.”

ARTRIP was indicted in the Northern District of Georgia on January 9, 2008, on one count of armed bank robbery and one count of using a firearm during a crime of violence. He was also indicted in other federal districts for the armed robbery of four other banks - two in West Virginia, one in Michigan, and one in North Carolina. ARTRIP agreed to have all of his federal cases transferred to Georgia for disposition, and he pleaded guilty to all of the charges pending against him.

This case was investigated by special agents of the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

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