2 Men to Plead Guilty to Federal Charges for 2017 Armed Bank Robbery
Two men have agreed to plead guilty to federal charges for the August 2017 robbery of a Ferguson Township credit union, an incident that involved bomb threats which drew police response to locations around the Centre Region.
Rodrequis A. Council, of State College, on Thursday entered an agreement in U.S. Middle District Court to plead guilty to armed bank robbery. Marquis L. Buckley, of Townsend, Ga., entered a plea to the same charge in June and had his sentencing transferred to federal district court Virginia, where he is accused of a series of other robberies.
Both men were apprehended in November 2017.
According to information filed by the U.S. Attorney's office, Council and Buckley met while incarcerated at Petersburg Federal Correctional Institute in Virginia. Last summer, Buckley traveled to State College to live with Council.
In August, Buckley and Council began planning the robbery of SPE Federal Credit Union, 650 Science Park Road. Prosecutors said they purchased a phone card at the North Atherton Street Walmart, which they would use to place 911 calls for bomb threats to disperse police and evade arrest after the robbery.
They also purchased a variety of household items that they fashioned together to look like explosive devices, placing one at Research West building on the Penn State campus and one at Walmart.
At 3:54 p.m. on Aug. 22, Buckley entered the credit union wearing a purple gown, a hood and a mask. Prosecutors said he handed the bank teller a bag and a note which stated "If a dye pack goes off, the bomb will. If anyone walks out behind, then I will detonate bomb." He then placed a device that looked like a bomb on the counter and left after the teller placed about $7,200 in the bag.
Council, prosecutors said, provided Buckley with a truck to drive to Altoona after completing the robbery. Council and Buckley met in Altoona, where Buckley stayed in a motel room paid for by Council until Buckley left the state. Prosecutors said Buckley and Council split the money from the robbery.
Council also is charged in Centre County with felony counts of conspiracy to commit robbery, conspiracy to commit theft, terroristic threats and receiving stolen property. He has been held at the Centre County Correctional Facility since November on $300,000 bail. A pre-trial conference is scheduled for July 16.