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Buffalo man going to prison for role in string of credit union robberies


Wed, Aug 23rd 2023 07:30 pm

Submitted by the U.S. Attorney's Office Western District of New York Public Affairs Officer 

U.S. Attorney Trini E. Ross announced today that Ronald Morris, 48, of Buffalo, who was convicted of aggravated bank robbery; attempted bank robbery; and using, possessing and brandishing a firearm in furtherance of a crime of violence, was sentenced to serve 171 months in prison and pay restitution totaling $551,286 by U.S. District Judge Richard J. Arcara.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Joshua A. Violanti, who handled the case, stated that Morris was involved in robbing three credit unions:

√ On Feb. 27, 2019, Morris (aka Cracks) and Adrian D. Applewhite entered the Tonawanda Community Federal Credit Union on Delaware Street in Tonawanda, armed with a firearm. The two men forcibly took approximately $111,992.18 in U.S. currency before fleeing in a vehicle.

√ On July 25, 2019, the defendant and Myron McCollum entered the South Towns Community Federal Credit Union on South Park Avenue in Lackawanna wearing dark-colored clothing and facemasks and conducted a bank robbery with pepper spray and a pistol. Morris and McCollum traversed the teller’s counter, sprayed the tellers with pepper spray, and went to the unlocked safe, forcibly taking $290,500 in U.S. currency.

√ On Nov. 7, 2019, Morris and Carl Wilson and Myron McCollum, armed with a pistol and donning masks and gloves, entered the Clarence Community and School Federal Credit Union on Sheridan Drive in Clarence, and conducted a bank robbery while Applewhite, the getaway driver, sat in a car nearby. Morris and his accomplices ordered all the employees to the ground and demanded money. Wilson and McCollum went behind the teller line and went through teller’s drawers, while Morris went to the vault. They forcibly took $148,793.90 in U.S. currency.

Carl Wilson, Adrian Applewhite and Myron McCollum were all previously convicted.

The sentencing is the result of an investigation by the New York State Police, under the direction of Maj, Eugene Staniszewski; the Federal Bureau of Investigation, under the direction of Special Agent-in-Charge Matthew Miraglia; the Lackawanna Police Department, under the direction of Chief Mark Packard; the Evans Police Department, under the direction of Chief Gregory Szarowicz; and the Tonawanda Police Department, under the direction of Chief James P. Stauffiger.

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