Pennsylvania woman sentenced to federal prison for North Carolina bank robbery

Published 11:01 am Sunday, February 20, 2022

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A Harrisburg, Pennsylvania woman was sentenced Wednesday, February 16, 2022 to 42 months in prison for robbing a bank in Ayden, North Carolina, according to a press release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Eastern District of North Carolina. She was also ordered to pay restitution. Circe Nena Baez, 38, pleaded guilty to the charges November 2, 2021.

According to court documents and other information presented in court, Baez entered the Southern Bank in Ayden on July 24, 2019 and handed a note to the bank teller demanding money and threatening that Baez’s children were being held hostage.

“The bank teller gave $2,494 to Baez who then left the bank,” stated the release. “After leaving the bank, Baez met with her co-conspirator, Alexis Morales, who was the driver for the robbery. Law enforcement agents later verified that no children were held hostage as part of the robbery.”

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Baez and Morales also robbed three other banks – in Pennsylvania, Delaware and Hamlet, North Carolina – in the same manner during July 2019, according to the release.

“The Federal Bureau of Investigation and local police departments were able to track Baez and Morales to Charlotte, North Carolina and arrested them,” stated the release.

Morales also pleaded guilty to the robbery and is awaiting sentencing.

Michael Easley, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of North Carolina, made the announcement after sentencing by Chief U.S. District Judge Richard E. Myers II. The Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Ayden Police Department, the Hamlet Police Department, the Delaware State Police, the Carlisle Borough Police and the Charlotte Mecklenburg Police Department investigated the case and Assistant U.S. Attorneys Bryan Stephany and John Parris prosecuted.