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Va. ‘Cell Phone Bandit’ Gets 12 Years

March 3, 2006

ALEXANDRIA, Va. (AP) _ The woman dubbed the ``cell phone bandit″ was sentenced Friday to 12 years in prison for her role in the robberies of four Wachovia Bank branches in northern Virginia last year.

Candice R. Martinez, 20, was captured on surveillance video calmly chatting on her cell phone while a nervous teller complied with typed instructions demanding cash. The videotape was broadcast repeatedly worldwide.

U.S. District Judge Gerald Bruce Lee sentenced Martinez to five years on the charge of conspiracy to commit bank robbery and seven years on a charge of using a firearm in a crime of violence.

Martinez learned her fate one week after her boyfriend was sentenced to 12 years in prison for his role in the robberies.

Dave C. Williams, 19, had admitted being on the phone with Martinez and driving the getaway car.

The four robberies occurred in Vienna, Springfield, Manassas and Asburn from Oct. 12 to Nov. 4., and netted the couple $48,620.

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