'Bearded Bandit' is sentenced to 73 months in jail for bank robbing spree

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PROVIDENCE – Justin Worley, who became notoriously known as the "Bearded Bandit" for his spree of bank robberies in the East Bay region during 2012, was sentenced Friday, July 26, in U.S. District Court to 73 months in federal prison.

Mr. Worley, 34, received the high end of the federal sentencing guidelines for robbing eight banks in Rhode Island and one bank in Massachusetts between February and September 2012, according to United States Attorney Peter F. Neronha.

At sentencing, U.S. District Court Judge William E. Smith also ordered Mr. Worley to serve 3 years of supervised release upon completion of his prison term and to make full restitution to the nine banks he admitted to robbing. Mr. Worley pleaded guilty on March 7, 2103, to nine counts of bank robbery.

At the time of his guilty plea, Mr. Worley admitted to the court that he robbed a financial institution in Seekonk on Feb. 23, 2012, and that he robbed eight financial institutions in Rhode Island between April 16, 2012 and Sept. 18, 2012. Mr. Worley admitted that while using implied or explicit threats he robbed the banks of a total of $32,633.

Mr. Worley was arrested at a motel in Seekonk on Sept. 19, 2012, by East Providence and Seekonk police. He has been detained since his arrest.

The robberies were investigated by the Barrington, Cranston, East Providence, North Providence, Pawtucket, Seekonk and Warwick Police Departments and the FBI.

The case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys William J. Ferland and Paul F. Daly Jr., the latter an East Providence native.

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A lifelong Portsmouth resident, Jim graduated from Portsmouth High School in 1982 and earned a journalism degree from the University of Rhode Island in 1986. He's worked two different stints at East Bay Newspapers, for a total of 18 years with the company so far. When not running all over town bringing you the news from Portsmouth, Jim listens to lots and lots and lots of music, watches obscure silent films from the '20s and usually has three books going at once. He also loves to cook crazy New Orleans dishes for his wife of 25 years, Michelle, and their two sons, Jake and Max.