Stephan Byrd, 44, of Vineland, New Jersey, was convicted following a two-week trial before U.S. District Judge Robert B. Kugler in Camden federal court on three counts of bank robbery; two counts of using and brandishing a firearm in furtherance of bank robbery; one count of using and discharging a firearm in furtherance of bank robbery; and one count of being a felon in possession of a firearm. The jury deliberated for approximately six hours before returning the verdicts.
According to documents filed in this case and the evidence at trial:
On June 7, 2014, Byrd entered the Ocean City Home Bank in Mays Landing, New Jersey, armed with a gun. He approached the bank teller counter, pointed his gun at bank employees, warned them not to push the panic alarm button, and ultimately stole $5,576. Byrd fled the scene through the nearby woods.
On July 19, 2014, Byrd entered the Newfield National Bank in Vineland, New Jersey, with Charles Sanders, who pleaded guilty previously to his role in the crime. Both Byrd and Sanders were armed with guns and covered up from head to toe. Sanders remained in the lobby of the bank while Byrd vaulted the bank counters to gain access to the bank tellers and cash drawers. Byrd pointed his gun at various bank employees and stole $10,297 from the bank drawers, after which he and Sanders fled through the nearby woods. The money contained dye packs, which exploded during Byrd’s and Sanders’ escape.
On July 21, 2014, Byrd entered the Newfield National Bank in Malaga, New Jersey, armed with a gun and covered up from head to toe. Byrd vaulted the bank counters to gain access to the teller drawers, pointed his gun at the bank tellers, stole $6,139, and ran into the nearby woods. After Byrd ran into the woods, a bank customer attempted to follow him in order to get identifying information. When Byrd noticed that he was being followed, he pointed his gun at the customer and fired a shot in the customer’s direction. Byrd then fled the scene.
Based on today’s convictions, Byrd faces a combined mandatory minimum sentence of 24 years in prison and a potential maximum sentence of life in prison. Each of the seven counts is also punishable by a fine of up to $250,000. Sentencing is scheduled for July 18, 2019.
U.S. Attorney Carpenito credited special agents of the FBI, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Gregory W. Ehrie in Newark; officers with the Vineland Police Department, under the direction of Chief Rudy Beu; and officers with the Hamilton Township Police Department, under the direction of Chief Stacy V. Tappeiner, with the investigation leading to today’s guilty verdict. U.S. Attorney Carpenito also thanked the officers of the North Brunswick Police Department, the FBI’s Philadelphia Division, and forensic scientists with N.J. State Police Office of Forensic Sciences and Ballistics Laboratory for their assistance in the case.
The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Sara A. Aliabadi and Jason Richardson of the U.S. Attorney’s Office Criminal Division in Camden.
Defense counsel: Troy Archie Esq., Camden
published gloucestercitynews.net | April 16, 2019