DOJ: Serial bank robber sentenced to 10 years

Myron Ernst robbed more than a half-dozen banks in Florida, Alabama, FBI says

The FBI says Myron William Ernst is suspected of robbing banks in Florida and Alabama. (FBI)

A man who robbed more than a half-dozen banks in the Southeast was sentenced Wednesday to 10 years in federal prison, the office of U.S. Attorney Maria Chapa Lopez said.

Myron William Ernst pleaded guilty earlier this year.

As part of a plea agreement, according to court documents, Ernst pleaded guilty to one count of bank robbery, but will make restitution to all the banks he held up, including two in Orange Park -- Bank of America and SunTrust. 

Last October and November, according to court documents, Ernst committed a spree of seven bank robberies and two attempted bank robberies in Florida and Alabama. During each incident, Ernst presented bank employees with a threatening note demanding money, federal prosecutors said.

The case was investigated by the FBI.

"This serial bank robber was brought to justice by the strong, investigative efforts of the FBI's Safe Streets Task Force. Crimes like this get solved because of the ongoing cooperation and communication with our federal, state, and local law enforcement partners," said Special Agent in Charge of the FBI Tampa Division, Michael F. McPherson.

Ernst was taken into federal custody Nov. 15, 2018, during a traffic stop in Florida, authorities said. He was arrested in Lakeland, about halfway between Orlando and Tampa, by members of the FBI's Safe Streets Task Force, the Lakeland Police Department, the Polk County Sheriff's Office and the Florida Highway Patrol. 

According to the FBI, Ernst was driving a truck authorities said he stole from a South Carolina dealership before the bank robbery spree began early October 2018. 

His arrest came just one day after the Clay County Sheriff's Office said Ernst robbed the Orange Park SunTrust Bank on Blanding Boulevard.

According to the FBI, Ernst previously pleaded guilty to robbing six banks, including the Bank of America in Orange Park in 2009, and was sentenced to 11 years in federal prison in 2010. He won early release in August 2018 and was placed on supervised probation. Authorities said Ernst violated his probation and was on the run from South Carolina when he was arrested last fall.

He had appeared on one of the FBI's "Most Wanted" lists up until Nov. 15, 2018.

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