Fort Gay bank robber gets more than 5 years
HUNTINGTON — A Kentucky man who admitted to robbing a Wayne County bank of more than $30,000 earlier this year has been sentenced to serve more than five years in federal prison.
According to U.S. Attorney Mike Stuart, Steve Ray Meeks, 62, of Louisa, Kentucky, was sentenced to serve five years and three months in federal prison after previously having pleaded guilty to bank robbery.
As part of his plea, Meeks admitted he robbed the Community Trust Bank in Fort Gay, West Virginia, of $32,372 on Jan 12, 2018.
According to Stuart, on the day of the robbery Meeks approached the bank with a hood over his head and a ski mask covering his face after the bank had closed and was unable to enter the building. During a staff meeting the next day, employees discussed the odd behavior. After the meeting, the same person, wearing the same clothing, reappeared and again tried to get into the bank before it opened.
Meeks admitted that person was him and that after his eventual entry into the building, he brandished a weapon that appeared to be a handgun while requesting the tellers put money in a bag he brought. During the robbery, he threatened to shoot or kill the employees, Stuart said.
Police were alerted and soon found Meeks’ vehicle, which they started to follow. As part of his plea, he admitted he drove into Kentucky with a Wayne County Sheriff’s deputy following. The pursuit was then turned over to a Louisa Police Department officer.
At this point, Meeks admitted he threw large sums of cash obtained during the robbery out the window. Law enforcement deployed stop strips, flattening Meeks’ tires, which ended in his apprehension after a foot chase.
The weapon from the Fort Gay robbery was later found along the path where Meeks had fled.
The weapon was found to be a BB gun without an orange cap on the barrel or any other markings to indicate it was anything other than a firearm.
Stuart credited the FBI, the Wayne County Sheriff’s and Louisa Police departments, as well as the Kentucky and West Virginia state police for their efforts in the investigation.