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Buffalo bank robber pleads guilty to four armed holdups

Earl Moss, a 29-year-old Buffalo man who still remains a suspect in a December 2010 bank robbery in Atlanta, Ga., pleaded guilty Wednesday to four armed robberies of two branches of Citizens Bank in Buffalo and Amherst in 2010 and 2011. Moss pleaded guilty before U.S. Chief District Judge William M. Skretny to charges of bank robbery and brandishing a firearm in connection with a crime of violence,

Assistant U.S. Attorneys John E. Rogowski and Edward H. White said Moss, who has been in custody since his arrest on April 20, 2011, faces a possible life-term and a fine of up to $250,000 when he is returned to court for sentencing Aug. 20.

The prosecutors said Moss, dressed as a woman, gave a teller at the Citizens Bank branch at 3180 Sheridan Drive in Amherst a note demanding money on April 20, 2010 – one year to the day before he was captured. After the teller gave Moss an undisclosed amount of money and he fled the bank a dye pack inserted in the bank money bag exploded and he abandoned the bag which was returned to the bank by a Sheridan Drive passer-by.

On April 30, 2010 Moss, again dressed as a woman, passed a teller at the Citizens Bank branch at 1893 Elmwood Avenue in Buffalo a note that said “no dye packs or I’ll kill you.” He fled with an undisclosed amount of money. Moss then went to Atlanta, Ga. where the FBI suspected he was the armed robber of an Atlanta bank in early December 2010 gathering sufficient information about Moss that resulted in his arrest in Buffalo the next April.

But returning to Buffalo for Christmas time 2010 Moss on Dec. 24, staged an armed robbery at the Citizen’s Bank branch on Sheridan Drive in Amherst again, this time wearing a hoody and sun glasses and waiving a silver handgun at several tellers, fleeing with an undisclosed amount of money even though a legitimate bank customer who had a pistol permit, fired four shots at him as he ran along Sheridan, missing him entirely.

Moss, again wearing a hoody and sunglasses and again waiving a silver handgun at tellers at the Citizen’s Bank branch on Elmwood Avenue in Buffalo again demanded money on April 30, 2011, and fled with an undisclosed amount. But he was captured here two days later.

U.S. Attorney William J. Hochul, Jr., congratulated his two trial prosecutors and stressed that “the successful conclusion of this case demonstrates effective policing at its best. As a result both the community and area financial institutions are now safe from this violent predator.”