Bank robbery case ‘slam dunk’

Published 12:17 pm Saturday, March 27, 2010

By By Lisa Tindell
The case against two suspects indicted Thursday on charges of robbing two banks in East Brewton and Flomaton is a “slam dunk,” police officials said.
Rhianna Marie Jones and Jerry Tinsley were both indicted by a federal grand jury on charges of bank robbery. They face a possible sentence of 10 years for each of the two Class C felony counts filed against them.
East Brewton Police chief Kenny Brazile said the indictment allowed him to close the case for his department.
Jones and Tinsley are accused of robbing three banks in Alabama with two of the robberies included in the indictment records.
According to court records, the two are accused of taking $4,963 in cash from the United Bank branch on Sidney Manning Boulevard in Flomaton on March 8.
The East Brewton branch of BankTrust was robbed of $2,840 on March 17, which brought about the second count of robbery against the couple, according to the indictment.
The couple are also accused of robbing a bank in Florala on March 1 with charges in that case likely be filed as state charges rather than federal charges, Brazile said.
Brazile said officers from several agencies were involved in the initial investigation and in the capture and arrests of the two suspects.
Brazile said officers with the East Brewton Police Department, Brewton Police Department, the Escambia County Sheriff’s Department, Alabama Bureau of Investigation and Federal Bureau of Investigation collaborated on the case, resulting in the arrest of the couple suspected of the crimes.
The pair was arrested March 18 after a brief chase in Destin, Fla., where they had apparently been staying in a motel after an alleged crime spree that police believe included bank robberies in Florala, Flomaton and East Brewton. They were arrested just one day after the East Brewton BankTrust branch was robbed.
In all three bank robberies, the suspects approached tellers at the banks and presented hand-written notes demanding money. No weapons were displayed during any of the robberies, and there were no injuries during the commission of the crimes.
Tinsley and Jones also face charges in Florida relating to the police chase that indeed in their arrest. Tinsley was charged with fleeing/eluding police and fleeing/eluding law enforcement at high speed, resisting an officer and obstruction without violence and a third-degree felony charge of possession of a controlled substance without a prescription. Jones was charged with resisting an officer and obstruction without violence.

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