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Career criminal adds another six years for bank robbery to his long life in prison

Gary LaTray has spent more than half his life in prison.

His rap sheet started when he was a teen, and it now includes more than 15 felony convictions, including one for a $2.9 million armored car depot heist 26 years ago.

Now 56, LaTray added more than six years to his prison resumé when U.S. District Judge Richard J. Arcara sentenced him Friday for robbing two banks, one in Hamburg, the other in Virginia.

The holdups were part of a 5-year-old robbery spree that took LaTray to four states and landed him on the “America’s Most Wanted” TV show.

“I’m tired,” LaTray told Arcara on Friday. “I just want to go somewhere where I can settle in.”

Now serving a 30-year prison sentence in Maryland for a shoe store robbery, LaTray refused Arcara’s offer to put off his sentencing because of a disagreement over his parole options in Maryland.

LaTray, who attributes his life of crime to drug and alcohol abuse, said he wished he could have received help for his addictions.

Instead, he found himself in and out of prisons.

“It’s not like I went out and murdered anybody,” LaTray said of his criminal career. “I’ve spent most of my life in prisons. And for what? Property crimes. Stealing money.”

Best known for his role in the 1989 hold-up of an armored car depot outside Syracuse, LaTray has been in and out of trouble ever since.

He served more than 17 years for the robbery and, after his release, returned to Syracuse to help counsel drug addicts.

He dropped out of sight in 2009 and, according to police, went on a robbery spree that included the shoe store in Maryland and eventually sent him to state prison there.

Assistant U.S. Attorney John M. Alsup said LaTray also robbed the Northwest Savings Bank, 3670 McKinley Parkway, Hamburg, on Nov. 30, 2009, and a Sun Trust Bank in Harrisonburg, Va., in that same year.

Responding to LaTray’s claim that he never meant to hurt anyone, Alsup noted LaTray’s threats to tellers at the two banks.

“You have 30 secs,” said his note to the teller in Hamburg, “or I push send button on cellphone to set off bomb to level this place.”

Alsup said, “The victims didn’t know he didn’t have a bomb.”

Arcara ordered LaTray to serve his 77-month federal sentence after he completes his state prison term in Maryland.

email: pfairbanks@buffnews.com