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White Center bank robber sentenced to prison

A 31- year-old man who robbed a Chase Bank branch in the White Center neighborhood of southwest Seattle at gunpoint last year was sentenced today in U.S. District Court in Seattle to 102 months (8.5 years) in prison and three years of supervised release, announced U.S. Attorney Jenny A. Durkan.

Bryan Allen Hill, was convicted of armed bank robbery and brandishing a firearm during a crime of violence following a jury trial in January 2013.  Hill was arrested a few blocks from the bank on July 25, 2012, with the gun and cash that had been taken in the robbery.  At sentencing U.S. District Judge Ricardo S. Martinez said this is “a very, very serious offense… basically terrorizing the individuals in the bank.”

According to records filed in the case and testimony at trial, Hill entered the bank with a blue bandana pulled up over his face.  He pointed a handgun at the teller’s head and ordered the teller to put all the cash in the bag.  While stuffing money into his bag, the bandana fell off of Hill’s face and the teller was able to see his face.  Other workers in the bank were able to alert law enforcement and one wrote down a description of the robber.  Within minutes of the robber leaving the bank, Seattle Police had a description and were searching the area around the bank for the suspect.

A Seattle Police officer spotted someone who was similar in appearance to the suspected robber walking quickly from the area.  The officer ordered the man to stop and kneel on the ground.  Witnesses from the bank were brought to the scene and identified the man, Hill, as the bank robber.  When police searched the bag he was carrying they found the gun, cash, and some of the clothing Hill had removed following the bank robbery.

Hill was prosecuted as part of the Project Safe Neighborhoods program.  Unveiled in May 2001, Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN) is a comprehensive and strategic approach to gun law enforcement.  PSN is a nationwide commitment to reduce gun crime in America by networking both new and existing local programs that target gun crime and then providing them with the resources and tools they need to succeed.  Implementation at the local level -- in this case, in King County-- has fostered close partnerships between federal, state and local prosecutors and law enforcement.

The case was investigated by the Seattle Police Department, the King County Sheriff’s Office and the FBI.  The case was prosecuted by Special Assistant United States Attorney Stephen Hobbs and Assistant United States Attorney Ehren Reynolds.  Mr. Hobbs is a Senior King County Deputy Prosecutor specially designated to prosecute gun cases in federal court.

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