MICHAEL J. GARCIA, the United States Attorney for the
Southern District of New York, announced that MARK PRINGLE
pleaded guilty today to participating in four bank robberies,
including two committed at gunpoint, at banks located in
Manhattan and the Bronx. The guilty pleas were entered before
United States Magistrate Judge RONALD L. ELLIS. According to
documents filed in this case and statements made during PRINGLE’s
guilty plea proceeding:
On April 24, 2007, PRINGLE entered a North Fork bank,
located at 725 Co-Op City Boulevard, Bronx, New York, and
approached a teller window. Placing a hoax exposive device (a
white pipe) on the counter, PRINGLE told the teller it was a bomb
which his partner would detonate from outside if PRINGLE did not
leave the bank quickly enough. PRINGLE fled with approximately
$1,691 in cash given to him by the teller.
On July 6, 2007, PRINGLE approached a teller at a
Washington Mutual Bank, located at 2438 Broadway, New York, New
York. PRINGLE put another hoax explosive device on the counter,
saying, “don’t press the button, this is lethal.” He demanded
money and fled the bank with approximately $12,280 in cash.
On August 28, 2007, PRINGLE robbed a North Fork Bank,
located at 1180 Third Avenue, New York, New York, at gunpoint.
PRINGLE approached a teller, produced a firearm, and demanded,
“give me all your money.” After the teller emptied her tray,
PRINGLE robbed the adjacent teller and exited the bank. PRINGLE
stole approximately $4,110 during the August 28, 2007 robbery.
On September 25, 2007, PRINGLE committed another bank
robbery at gunpoint. PRINGLE entered the North Fork Bank,
located at 185 West 231st Street, Bronx, New York, approached a
teller window, and displayed a handgun. PRINGLE demanded money
and threatened the teller, saying, “You don’t want to get hurt.
I’ll shoot.” PRINGLE and an accomplice, TARIQ SMITH, fled the
bank with approximately $2,945 in cash.
PRINGLE pleaded guilty to four counts of bank robbery
and one count of brandishing a firearm in furtherance of a crime
of violence. He faces a total maximum sentence of life in
prison, and a mandatory minimum term of 7 years in prison.
On May 15, 2008, TARIQ SMITH pleaded guilty to
participating in the September 25, 2007, robbery, as well as
another armed bank robbery on August 3, 2008.
PRINGLE and SMITH are scheduled to be sentenced by
United States District Judge WILLIAM H. PAULEY III on August 5,
2008, at 12:00 p.m.
MR. GARCIA praised the investigative work of the Joint
Bank Robbery Task Force, which consists of agents and detectives
of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the New York City Police
Department, and the United States Marshals Service.
Assistant United States Attorneys JOHN P. CRONAN and
MICHAEL D. MAIMIN are in charge of the prosecution.