PORTLAND, Maine — A 65-year-old man was sentenced Wednesday in U.S. District Court to 14½ years in federal prison followed by five years of supervised release for his role in robbing two southern Maine banks in 2015.
Neil West Sr. of Portland was found guilty in July by a jury on one count each of armed bank robbery and conspiracy to commit bank robbery, the U.S. attorney’s office said in a press release. The charges arose out of the September 2015 robberies at the University Credit Union in Portland and TD Bank in Lewiston.
At the time of the robberies, West was on federal supervised release for being an accessory after the fact to a bank robbery in Wells five years ago, the release said. For violating his supervised release by committing the robberies in 2015, West was sentenced to an additional two years in prison.
In sentencing West, U.S. District Judge Nancy Torresen noted that bank robberies cause “great emotional harm to tellers and customers and put people at risk,” the press release said. She said that West’s lengthy criminal history and the high speed chase he led police on after the TD Bank robbery contributed to the long sentence imposed.
West’s co-defendants, Joseph Richards, 47, and Crystal Dufault, 34, both of Manchester, New Hampshire, were sentenced earlier this year to 15 years and three years, respectively, according to court documents. Both are incarcerated at a federal correctional institution in Bruceton Mills, West Virginia, according the U.S. Bureau of Prisons’ inmate locator.