COLUMBUS, Ga. – A Columbus resident pleaded guilty to a bank robbery in which he said he had a gun and demanded cash from a SunTrust Bank teller.
Dontrell Scott, 28, of Columbus, pleaded guilty to one count bank robbery before U.S. District Judge Clay Land today. Scott faces a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine. Sentencing is scheduled at 9:30 a.m. on August 31.
“Federal and local law enforcement worked quickly, detaining Scott within hours after he robbed the bank, terrifying the teller, other employees and customers who witnessed his crime,” said Acting U.S. Attorney Peter D. Leary. “Individuals who choose to terrorize peaceful places of business will be caught and will face justice in the Middle District of Georgia.”
“Thanks to the quick reaction of our local law enforcement partners, this suspect was arrested and unable to threaten any more innocent victims,” said Chris Hacker, Special Agent in Charge of FBI Atlanta. “Scott now faces serious prison time on federal charges with no opportunity for parole.”
According to facts admitted to in court, Scott walked undisguised into a SunTrust Bank branch on 1st Avenue in Columbus on November 5, 2019, holding a bottle of Powerade and carrying a camouflage bag. Scott approached a teller at her workstation, told her he had a gun and demanded money. Scott put the money in his bag, left his Powerade on the counter and exited the building.
Columbus Police Department and FBI responded to the scene and quickly distributed high quality still photographs from the surveillance video to other law enforcement agencies and the public. Scott was immediately identified, and later that same afternoon the Phenix City Police Department received a tip that a suspect matching the bank robber’s description had been spotted at a local used car lot. Shortly thereafter, officers detained Scott, who was also wanted on outstanding warrants. When arrested, Scott was wearing the same clothes seen in the bank surveillance footage. A subsequent search of Scott’s hotel room located the camouflage bag from the bank robbery and a notebook where someone had written: “I have a gun this is a robbery quickly # go dawgs!” In addition, Scott’s DNA was found on the lid of the Powerade left behind at the scene. Scott has prior felony convictions in Muscogee County Superior Court, to include Robbery, Possession of a Firearm During a Crime and Theft By Receiving Stolen Property.
FBI, Columbus Police Department and Phenix City Police Department are investigating the case.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Crawford Seals is prosecuting the case.