BATAVIA, Ohio — A U.S. District Court jury has convicted Bruce Lee Felix, 52, of using a gun to rob the Cheviot Savings Bank and Cincinnatus Savings and Loan in Colerain Township in 2015.
The trial began on July 1 and concluded on Friday with a guilty verdict.
The U.S. Department of Justice said in February 2015, the Batavia man jumped out of bushes to surprise two employees entering the Cincinnatus Savings and Loan bank around 8:00 a.m. He forced them to open the vault and remove the money before ordering them to lie on the ground and tying their hands behind their back.
According to court documents and trial testimony, in June of 2015, Felix repeated a similar scenario at the Cheviot Savings Bank in Harrison, Ohio.
Felix wore a mask and brandished a gun when he surprised a maintenance worker and demanded to be let into the bank vault. Once he learned only bank tellers had access to the vault, he bound the worker with zip-ties. When the tellers arrived at the bank, Felix ordered them to open the vault and remove the money for him, before fleeing the area.
Felix was arrested in February 2017, in Batavia.
On Friday, a jury found him guilty of one count of armed bank robbery and one count of using a firearm during a violent crime for the Cheviot Savings Bank robbery. He was found guilty of one count of bank robbery in the Cincinnatus Savings and Loan robbery.
The armed bank robbery charge could carry a maximum sentence of 25 years in prison. The other bank robbery charge could carry up to 20 years. However, Felix will face a mandatory minimum sentence of 25 years to life for the charge of using a firearm during a violent crime, because of a prior firearm-related conviction from 1996.