Bank robber gets 12-plus years in prison

Staff report


A federal judge sentenced an admitted robber to 12 years and seven months in prison for the string of eight bank robberies in Northeast Ohio and western Pennsylvania last June, July and August, including one in Liberty Township.

Benjamin G. Gates, 33, of Canton, drew the sentence Monday from U.S. District Judge James S. Gwin after Gates pleaded guilty to all eight robberies, in which he took a combined total of $24,529.

Gates robbed Huntington Bank inside the Liberty Giant Eagle, 4700 Belmont Ave., of $2,921 on July 27, 2012.

He also pleaded guilty to a July 2 robbery of a U.S. Bank branch in Canton, July 20 and Aug. 16 robberies of two different U.S. Bank branches in Cuyahoga Falls, and Aug. 3 and 10 robberies of Huntington Bank branches in North Canton and Canton, respectively.

The Pennsylvania bank robberies were at Citizens Bank branches, June 13 in Pittsburgh and June 25 in Erie.

Gates was arrested in Canton in mid-August by a Safe Streets Task Force comprised of the FBI, Canton and Alliance police and the Ohio Adult Parole Authority.

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