Robert Mason, 42, of Columbus, pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court yesterday to a bank robbery in Whitehall that occured in September of 2018, just four months after his release from prison for a previous aggravated robbery.
According to the Department of Justice, in a statement of facts in a plea agreement, Mason admitted to the bank robbery, and to assaulting two bank tellers by hitting them with a handgun after he “became frustrated at the speed of the employees”.
Police say that on September 26,2018, a masked suspect with a handgun entered the Huntington Bank at 4550 E. Main Street and jumped over the teller counter.
The suspect ordered the teller to the ground and demanded money. During the robbery, the suspect struck two of the employees with the handgun, causing injuries.
The suspect then fled the bank with an undetermined amount of money. Investigators say that the tellers were able to include a dye pack with the money and it exploded as the suspect fled on foot.
Video surveillance showed the suspect getting into a car as a passenger and fleeing the area.
On October 31, 2018, Whitehall Police detectives, with the assistance of the U.S. Marshall’s Service and the ODRC Adult Parole Authority, arrested Mason in connection with that robbery.
According to police reports, a search warrant was executed in conjunction with Mason’s arrest and the getaway vehicle allegedly used in the robbery was found.
Investigators say that when Mason was taken into custody he had crack cocaine in his possession. At the time of his arrest, Mason was on parole for aggravated robbery and felonious assault. Mason had just been released from prison in May of 2018.
According to the Department of Justice, Mason pleaded guilty to one count of bank robbery, punishable by up to 25 years in prison. He also pleaded guilty to one count of using a firearm during a crime of violence, which carries a minimum punishment of seven years and up to life, and one count of conspiracy to tamper with evidence, punishable by up to 20 years.
Police identified the driver of the getaway car as Mason’s girlfriend, Bretta Nallen. Nallen is still facing charges of being an accessory to the crime and evidence tampering.