A man charged in the December 2017 robbery of PNC Bank in Roanoke Rapids is scheduled for trial in April, federal court records show.
Last month United States Attorney Erin Blondel filed a request for Dannie Parker Jr. to be sent to Raleigh from United States Penitentiary Victorville in California where he is currently being housed for violating terms of his previous federal release following the Roanoke Rapids heist. Blondel requested Parker be returned on April 22.
USP Victorville is a high security federal prison and currently, according to its website, visitation has been suspended until further notice.
The writ to produce is the latest document filed in Parker’s case and documents in the federal court record note a trial is expected to begin at 10 a.m. on April 22 at The Terry Sanford Federal Building and United States Courthouse in Raleigh.
Parker late last year pleaded not guilty to a count of bank robbery and requested a jury trial.
Events leading to setting the trial date included the denial by Chief United States District Court Judge James C. Dever III of a motion to dismiss the case.
Dever noted the defendant’s motion lacked merit.
Of note in the attempts to dismiss the indictment was a summary of Parker’s criminal history within the federal court system and the events which occurred during the December 28, 2017, Roanoke Rapids heist.
Eastern District United States Attorney Robert J. Higdon Jr. wrote in opposition to the motion to dismiss, “This defendant is no stranger to the federal criminal system. He has five prior federal felony convictions, two of them for bank robbery.”
After his most-recent bank robbery conviction, on January 4, 2010, Judge W. Earl Britt sentenced Parker to 120 months imprisonment.
He was released to federal supervision on December 22, 2017.
Higdon wrote, “Six days later, on December 28, 2017, the defendant robbed PNC Bank in Roanoke Rapids, North Carolina. He showed a bank teller a note demanding money. The teller placed money in the bag, and the defendant demanded more.
“While the defendant was not looking, the teller also placed a GPS device in the pack and tripped the silent alarm. The defendant fled. The entire robbery was captured on video. The defendant did not wear a mask, and his face and clothes were easily visible. Another eyewitness also took a description of the getaway vehicle.”
Higdon said in the motion, “Law enforcement responded quickly. Armed with a visual description of the defendant and a description of the vehicle, officers followed the GPS device’s coordinates. Officers traced the tracker to I-95, in the middle of a traffic jam. They continued to follow coordinates until they found a vehicle matching the suspect vehicle’s description.
“Its driver and sole occupant was the defendant. The defendant physically resembled the robber, and his vehicle included clothes matching the description of those worn in the robbery. Inside the vehicle officers found the stolen money. They arrested the defendant.”
On January 2, of last year the defendant’s federal probation officer moved to revoke his supervision based on his new criminal conduct, the PNC Bank robbery.
On March 23 of last year Britt held a hearing on the defendant’s revocation of supervised release.
Parker pleaded no contest to the violation and Britt sentenced him to two years imprisonment on the revocation. Last May 22 a federal grand jury indicted the defendant on a single count of bank robbery.