Nicholas Ferrone, 28, of Utica, NY, pleaded guilty before U.S. District David G. Larimer to three counts of bank robbery. The charges carry a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.
The defendant committed three bank robberies: on August 20, 2019, Ferrone robbed the Bank of America, located at 5091 Broadway in Depew, NY; on October 31, 2019, Ferrone robbed the Chase Bank, located at 6 Spencerport Road in Gates, NY; and on December 17, 2019, Ferrone robbed the M&T Bank, located at 625 Panorama Trail in Penfield, NY. In each of the three robberies, the defendant was wearing a high-quality latex mask that covered his face, and handed the tellers notes demanding money.
On January 13, 2020, a New York State Trooper conducted a traffic stop on a vehicle driven by Ferrone on the New York State Thruway. The vehicle did not have license plates displayed, nor did it display a valid inspection sticker. Law enforcement officers conducted a search of the vehicle and recovered controlled substances, as well as several high quality latex masks, including one that appears to have been used in the Bank of America robbery in Depew, and another mask that appears to have been used in both the Chase Bank and M&T Bank robberies in Gates and Penfield. Also recovered from the vehicle were numerous items of clothing matching the clothing worn during the three charged robberies, along with two handwritten notes that read “I Have Gun Large Bills” and “I Have Gun All Large Bills.”
Previously, in May 2013, Ferrone was convicted in United States District Court in the Northern District of New York on eight counts of federal bank robbery.
The plea is the result of an investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Major Crimes Task Force, under the direction of Special Agent-in-Charge Stephen Belongia; the Gates Police Department, under the direction of Chief James VanBrederode; the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office, under the direction of Sheriff Todd Baxter; the New York State Police, under the direction of Major Eric Laughton; the East Rochester Police Department, under the direction of Chief Steve Clancy; the Depew Police Department, under the direction of Chief Jerome Miller; and the Niagara Falls Police Department, under the direction of Superintendent Thomas Licata.
Sentencing is scheduled for September 29, 2020, before Judge Larimer.