'Duffel Bag Bandit' pleads guilty to Boise bank robbery

January 7, 2014 

This is a bank photo taken of George Edward Massey during one of his bank robberies.

Former Boise resident Gerald Edward Massey, 56, pleaded guilty Tuesday to robbing a U.S. Bank branch loated at 10700 Ustick Road in Boise on March 6, 2013. He forced the bank manager to let him into the bank's vault and made off with $64,500 in cash.

During a hearing in U.S. District Court in Boise, Massed also admitted that he tried to obstruct the investigation by asking a witness to lie to Federal Bureau of Investigation agents about Massey's involvement in the robbery.

Massey faces up to 20 years in prison, a fine of up to $250,000 and up to three years of supervision after he's released from prison. He is scheduled to appear for sentencing April 1 before Chief Judge B. Lynn Winmill.

Massey agreed to pay $84,628, which represents losses to U.S. Bank and three other banks that were robbed. Massey was not charged in those cases.

The case was investigated by the Boise Police Department and the FBI. The federal agency dubbed him the "Duffel Bag Bandit" because he showed up at each of the banks carrying a red duffel bag.

Massey was also a suspect in two Utah bank robberies, but was not charged in those robberies. Authorities said there was not enough evidence to prosecute him in those cases.

The robbery spree began Dec. 21, 2012, when a Chase Bank on Federal Way was robbed. Over the next three months, five other banks were robbed, including a Washington Trust Bank branch on State Street in Garden City; a Wells Fargo branch on North Five Mile in Boise; a Mountain America Cred Union branch in Cedar City, Utah; the Boise U.S. Bank branch; and a State Bank of Southern Utah branch in St. George.

In each of the cases, the robber demanded money or gave a teller a note. No weapons were shown or threatened, authorities said.

In May, the FBI offered a $5,000 reward leading to the arrest and conviction of the bank robber. It was unclear Tuesday afternoon whether someone had claimed the reward.

Massey was arrested in August in Shreveport, La., where he was living at the time.

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