BRATTLEBORO -- A Massachusetts man will serve up to eight years in prison after admitting to robbing a Brattleboro bank in 2011.
Shayne Fleming-Pancione pleaded guilty Monday to grand larceny for the Aug. 13, 2011 robbery of TD Bank in downtown Brattleboro.
Judge David Suntag accepted the plea and handed Fleming-Pancione a prison sentence of eight years to eight years and one day. Vermont law requires that there be both a minimum and maximum sentence imposed.
David Gartenstein, a deputy Windham County state's attorney, labeled the robbery a "serious crime of violence" and said the prison term was warranted.
"The state's position was that a significant punitive sentence for this crime was required," Gartenstein said. "This sentence serves that objective."
Police said Fleming-Pancione, of Easthampton, Mass., demanded that tellers give him all $50 and $100 bills and threatened violence.
"Do what I say, or I will shoot," a teller recalled the suspect saying, though Fleming-Pancione did not show a weapon.
He escaped the bank with $3,050.
A Massachusetts investigation into counterfeit money led to Fleming-Pancione's arrest in connection with the Vermont robbery.
A confidential informant in the Massachusetts probe noted that Fleming-Pancione, who "typically struggled to accumulate small amounts of cash to buy heroin," suddenly was paying off bills and purchasing clothes and a flat-screen television,
When Fleming-Pancione was arrested on drug and counterfeiting charges in September 2011, Massachusetts authorities notified Brattleboro police. A sweatshirt matching the bank robber's was found at his apartment, and his laptop computer's browser history included several news articles related to the heist, police have said.
A friend told investigators that Fleming-Pancione had admitted to the robbery and had a drug problem. The friend also noticed that Fleming-Pancione had printed about $200 worth of fake $20 bills after the robbery.
"I told Shayne that he really needed to get into detox because this was ridiculous," the friend reportedly told police. "I know that Shayne is good-intentioned with bad desires."
Fleming-Pancione's criminal history includes prison time for two other armed robberies.
He still has a Massachusetts sentence to serve and also faces federal counterfeiting charges there, Gartenstein said.
Mike Faher can be reached at email@example.com or 802-254-2311, ext. 275.