December 13, 2013
Joseph H. Hogsett, the United States Attorney, announced today that Demetrius Worley, age 24, of Indianapolis, was sentenced this morning to 126 months (10 years, 6 months) by U.S. District Judge Jane Magnus-Stinson. This follows Worley’s guilty plea to charges related to an armed robbery of the State Bank of Lizton branch in Plainfield.
“Working with our partners on the FBI Safe Streets Task Force, we are cracking down on criminals who arm themselves and target Hoosier homes and businesses,” Hogsett said. “As the seriousness of this sentencing decision makes clear, those who embrace such violence and lawlessness will be caught, and they will be held fully accountable.”
“As a direct result of investigative teamwork by the FBI Safe Streets Task Force, Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department and Plainfield Police Department, a violent bank robbery crew has been permanently dismantled,” said Robert A. Jones, Special Agent in Charge, FBI Indianapolis Division.
According to court documents, in May of this year members of the Safe Streets Task Force were investigating an armed robbery of a bank branch on Madison Avenue in Indianapolis. As part of that investigation, a vehicle that was believed to have been connected to that crime was being tracked by federal law enforcement.
On May 10, 2013, Task Force members tracked that vehicle from Indianapolis to Plainfield. Task Force members then observed two males, defendant Worley and William McKnight, enter the State Bank of Lizton branch. An alert was issued that an armed robbery might be in progress.
Worley and McKnight were observed leaving the bank and reentering a vehicle, and a pursuit of that vehicle began. The vehicle was next observed pulled over on the side of the road, and McKnight exited the vehicle before it sped away. McKnight was armed and refused to comply with orders to disarm. He was shot by law enforcement and is now deceased.
A pursuit of the vehicle continued, and after a traffic stop, a third individual was brought into custody. That defendant, Lori A. Armstrong, age 44, of Indianapolis, is currently awaiting trial. Defendant Worley, who had exited the vehicle earlier, was later brought into custody after being located in a nearby residential neighborhood. A search of the vehicle revealed clothing consistent with what the robbers were observed wearing, and a search of a nearby neighborhood resulted in the location of a purple bag containing approximately $6,900, consistent with the amount of loss suffered by the State Bank of Lizton.
According to court documents, at the time of the robbery defendant Worley was on parole relating to a conviction for bank robbery. Reviews of prison visitation records show that Worley visited McKnight while McKnight was incarcerated. This prosecution comes as part of the U.S. Attorney’s Violent Crime Initiative, and is the result of a collaborative investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, as well as the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department, Plainfield Police Department, and Hendricks County law enforcement partners.
Announced in March of 2011, the Violent Crime Initiative represents a district-wide strategy to work with local law enforcement and county prosecutors to combat drug traffickers and criminals that use and carry firearms in their illegal activities. The VCI has produced a dramatic increase in the number of gun-related charges brought federally. In the year preceding the initiative, there were just 14 defendants charged with federal gun crimes by the U.S. Attorney’s Office. In the nearly two years since, more than 200 defendants have been charged.
According to Assistant U.S. Attorney A. Brant Cook who prosecuted the case for the government, Worley was also ordered to serve five years of federally-supervised release at the end of his prison term, and pay a $1,000 fine. Under federal law, Worley must serve a minimum of 85% of his prison term within a federal correctional facility.
A criminal complaint or indictment is only a charge and is not evidence of guilt. All defendants are presumed innocent and are entitled to a fair trial at which the government must prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.