A Gaithersburg man was sentenced on Friday for the December 7th, 2011 armed robbery of a Frederick bank. In US District Court in Baltimore, Ashref Abil Bannaga, 32, received five years in prison, followed by five-years supervised release.
The US Attorney's Office for Maryland says Bannaga held up the Capital One Bank at the Frederick Shopping Center on West 7th Street.
Federal prosecutors say Bannaga entered the bank, wearing a mask and a hood covering his face. He brandished what looked like a firearm, ordered the employees and customers into one general area, and then demanded the bank manager open the safe. When the manager couldn't open the safe, Bannaga, opened a teller drawer, and stole about $5,995. He then fled the bank.
On his way out, federal officials say, Bannaga saw a witness walk into the bank. He showed that person his gun, and told that individual not to do anything "stupid."
The witness saw Bannaga get into a black truck, and managed to get a partial front tag. That information was given to police. There was no rear tag.
Investigators learned the truck was rented the day before by Bannaga. He was employed at the time of the robbery doing construction work at a supermarket located in the same shopping center.
Authorities say they recovered the clothing, mask, hat and gloves worn by Bannaga during the armed robbery at the construction site where he worked. The weapon turned out to be a replica, similar to a BB gun. Bannaga's DNA was found on the mask and hat used during the armed robbery.
The US Attorney's Office says Bannaga was on federal supervised release after serving a 70-month sentence for another bank robbery in Virginia in 2006, when the robbery took place in Frederick.