Cleveland — A Canton man found guilty of eight bank robberies, including two in Cuyahoga Falls, was sentenced to 12 1/2 years in prison during a hearing in the federal courthouse on Monday, March 4.
Benjamin G. Gates, 34, of Canton, was sentenced to 12 years and 7 months by Judge James S. Gwin in U.S. District Court, Northern District of Ohio. Gates had pleaded guilty to the eight bank robberies on Nov. 13, 2012, in a plea agreement, according to Mike Tobin, the public information officer for the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Cleveland.
Both of the banks Gates admitted to robbing in Cuyahoga Falls were located inside grocery stores, according to officials.
“This sentence should send a clear message to those who would think about robbing a bank,” said U.S. Attorney Steven M. Dettelbach. “Our law enforcement partners are to be commended for bringing an end to this wave of bank robberies.”
A grand jury in Cleveland returned an indictment Sept. 18 charging Gates with six counts of bank robbery, according to a press release issued that day by Dettelbach and Stephen D. Anthony, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI’s Cleveland office.
The list includes two robberies in Cuyahoga Falls: July 20, U.S. Bank inside Giant Eagle on Graham Road, and Aug. 16, U.S. Bank inside Acme Fresh Market on Bailey Road.
The investigation preceding the indictment was conducted by FBI, Mahoning County Sheriff’s Office, Stark County Sheriff’s Office, Canton Police Department, North Canton Police Department, Jackson Township Police Department, Liberty Township Police Department and the Cuyahoga Falls Police Department.
The matter was presented for indictment by Assistant United States Attorney Linda H. Barr, the release said.
Gates was arrested based on a federal complaint for the Aug. 16 robbery on Bailey Road in Cuyahoga Falls, Special Agent Vicki Anderson of the FBI told the Cuyahoga Falls News-Press in August.