BIRMINGHAM –A Tuscaloosa man pleaded guilty today in federal court to robbery of a federally insured bank and taking of hostages during the robbery in the Northern District of Alabama.
U.S. Attorney Jay Town, and FBI Special Agent in Charge, Johnnie Sharp announced the plea.
CEDRICK LAMAR COLLINS, 19, entered his plea before U.S. District Court Judge L. SCOTT COOGLER today to one count of robbery of a federally insured bank, the Alabama Credit Union, in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. Collins also pleaded guilty to a second count of taking hostages during the commission of the bank robbery. The maximum prison penalty for bank robbery is 20 years. The charge of taking a hostage while attempting to flea a bank robbery carries a minimum 10-year prison sentence. The charge of taking someone hostage to force a specific government action carries a maximum penalty of life in prison.
The robbery of Alabama Credit Union occurred on January 17, 2017. The University of Alabama Police Department received a call concerning suspicious activity at the credit union. As SWAT teams from the Tuscaloosa Police Department and Tuscaloosa Sheriff’s Department arrived on the scene, COLLINS had taken a number of bank employees hostage after demanding money. Officers attempted to make entry into the bank and encountered COLLINS in the stairwell with a hostage in front of him. COLLINS threatened to start shooting unless law enforcement moved back. Officers later made entry into the bank and safely secured COLLINS, without any of the hostages being injured. COLLINS’ suspected firearm was determined to be a BB gun.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation investigated the case, which Assistant U.S. Attorney Brad Felton prosecuted.
Department of Justice
Office of the U.S. Attorney
Northern District of Alabama