Fitzgerald man handed federal court sentence, two found illegally in southwest Georgia

A man who robbed a Tifton bank in 2018, telling the bank clerk he was in possession of a bomb, has been sentenced to federal prison without parole.

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COLUMBUS – The man who robbed a Columbus Wells Fargo bank is facing a maximum 20 years in prison for his crime, acting U.S. Attorney for the Middle District of Georgia Peter D. Leary said.

Emory Fredrick, 57, of Columbus, pleaded guilty to one count of bank robbery before U.S. District Judge Clay D. Land. Fredrick is facing a maximum 20 years imprisonment to be followed by three years of supervised release and a $250,000 fine. There is no parole in the federal system. Sentencing has been scheduled for July 14 in Columbus.

“Robbing banks puts employees, community members and even the bank robber in danger,” Leary said. “Such actions will not be tolerated. I want to thank the Columbus Police Department and the FBI for quickly apprehending the defendant and helping restore order to the Columbus community.”

“Fredrick’s actions traumatized both bank employees and customers,” Chris Hacker, special agent in charge of FBI Atlanta, said. “Thanks to the FBI, Columbus Police Department and the public, he was apprehended quickly and unable to threaten anyone else.”

“I am pleased with the successful prosecution of this case and I really appreciate the dedicated work of our officers and FBI,” Chief Freddie Blackmon of the Columbus Police Department said. “We will continue our partnership as we work to make Columbus a safe place to live.”

On March 11, 2019, Fredrick entered the Wells Fargo Bank at 5538 Whittlesey Boulevard in Columbus. He walked up to a teller and said, “This is a stickup.” Fredrick then instructed the teller to give him all large bills. The teller believed that Fredrick could have been armed because he kept messing with one of his pockets. The defendant collected the money into a grey bag he brought with him, a total of $1,138, and walked out of the bank. The Columbus Police Department and FBI apprehended Fredrick within a few hours of the robbery, utilizing both images captured on security cameras at the scene as well as photos and verbal descriptions from bystanders leading to his quick capture.

The case was investigated by the Columbus Police Department and FBI. Assistant U.S. Attorney Amy Helmick is prosecuting the case for the government.

This article originally ran on albanyherald.com.

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