Photo: File image
Photo: File image

Gwinnett man sentenced for armed robberies of Cobb, DeKalb banks

A Duluth man has been sentenced to more than 30 years in prison for robbing banks at gunpoint in Smyrna and Doraville, the U.S. Department of Justice said.

Darius Taurean Caldwell was convicted on two counts each of armed bank robbery, brandishing a firearm during the commission of robberies and possessing a firearm as a convicted felon. 

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The first robbery occurred Aug. 24, 2016 at a North of Atlanta Bank branch in Doraville. Caldwell walked in wearing a blue face mask and an inside-out T-shirt and demanded money from a teller while brandishing a gun, the Justice Department said. He fled with “several thousand dollars” and was not caught, according to a Justice Department release.

The second robbery occurred in Smyrna on Sept. 7, 2016. Caldwell walked into a Bank of America branch, once again wearing a blue mask and an inside-out T-shirt, and demanded money at gunpoint. He got “several thousand dollars” and fled, but was captured within minutes by the Smyrna Police Department, the release says.

“If not for the quick response by the Smyrna Police Department, this violent offender more than likely would have continued robbing and threatening innocent citizens,” said Ricardo Grave de Peralta, acting special agent in charge of FBI Atlanta. “His reckless disregard for their safety could have easily turned into tragedy. Fortunately he is no longer a threat.” 

Caldwell was convicted of all charges on April 12, 2018, and sentenced on Aug. 2. He must serve 32 years and one day in federal prison, followed by five years of supervised release. He also must pay $14,841 in restitution.

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Police believe the crime was a home invasion

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