Crime & Courts

Charlotte men found guilty of armed bank robbery

A federal jury sitting in Statesville found two Charlotte men guilty of armed bank robbery, among other charges, according to U.S. Attorney Anne Tompkins’ office.

On Thursday, Darius Donneal Freeman, 32, and Wincy Joseph, 29, were also found guilty of possession of a firearm in furtherance of a crime of violence, prosecutors said. Freeman was also found guilty of carjacking, among other charges.

According to filed court documents and trial proceedings, Freeman carjacked a victim at a Circle K gas station on South Boulevard in Charlotte around 5:15 a.m. on May 20, 2013.

Later that morning, the men used the carjacked vehicle to go to a Bank of America branch in Troutman. Shortly after the bank opened, Freeman went into the branch brandishing a silver handgun and wearing gloves, sunglasses and a black cap, prosecutors said.

Freeman jumped on the tellers’ counter and demanded cash, according to officials. Joseph came in after Freeman wearing a black sweatshirt with the hood pulled up, sunglasses and gloves. He also demanded cash from another bank employee, prosecutors said.

The men left the bank with about $5,100 cash and drove away in the car that the U.S. attorney’s office said Freeman had jacked earlier that day.

The car was later found by law enforcement, abandoned on Interstate 77 in Iredell County. A concerned citizen’s tip led to the men being identified five days later. Freeman was arrested on June 6, 2013 and Joseph was arrested on June 13, 2013, officials said.

The armed bank robbery charge has a maximum prison term of 25 years and a $250,000 fine. The possession of a firearm charge carries prison time that ranges between 7 years and a life sentence. The carjacking charge could bring another 15 year sentence and a $250,000 fine.

Freeman and Joseph both remain in custody and sentencing dates have not yet been set.