Rhode Island man sentenced for five bank robberies

Massachusetts

Charles Wheeler and Dong Lee (WPRI)

BOSTON (USDOJ) – A Rhode Island man was sentenced Friday in federal court in Boston for five bank robberies, including one that resulted in a high-speed chase.

Dong Lee, 50, was sentenced by U.S. District Court Judge Richard G. Stearns to 110 months in prison and three years of supervised release. In October 2020, Lee pleaded guilty to five counts of bank robbery. Lee was charged with co-defendant Charles Lamont Wheeler who pleaded guilty and was sentenced to 84 months in prison.

 Between Sept. 8, 2018 and Sept. 14, 2018, five banks in the Greater Boston area were robbed. Based on the similarity of the robberies, and the descriptions of the robbers provided by bank tellers, it was determined that the same two individuals were responsible for these robberies. On Sept. 14, 2018, Lee and Wheeler robbed a branch of the Abington Bank in Avon.  Later in the day, the defendants robbed a branch of the Crescent Credit Union in Brockton and were both arrested following a high-speed car chase in Attleboro.

 Following an investigation, it was determined that Lee and Wheeler were responsible for the robberies of the Santander Bank in Andover on Sept. 8, 2018; Berkshire Bank in Boston on Sept. 8, 2018; Rockland Trust in Braintree on Sept. 12, 2018; Abington Savings Bank in Avon on Sept. 14, 2018; and Crescent Credit Union in Brockton on Sept.14, 2018.

 Acting United States Attorney Nathaniel R. Mendell; Joseph R. Bonavolonta, Special Agent in Charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Boston Field Office; Colonel Christopher Mason, Superintendent of the Massachusetts State Police Department; Avon Police Chief Jeffrey J. Bukunt; Brockton Police Chief Emmanuel Gomes; Attleboro Police Chief Kyle P. Heagney; and North Attleboro Police Chief John J. Reilly made the announcement. Assistant U.S. Attorney Kenneth G. Shine of Mendell’s Major Crimes Unit prosecuted the case.

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