Alleged Bank Robbers Enter Plea Deal With Feds

February 26, 2019
1 of 2
Alleged Bank Robbers Enter Plea Deal With Feds

SCRANTON — Two men accused of robbing a Plains Twp. bank during a brazen gunpoint robbery have agreed to plead guilty to federal bank robbery charges, according to court documents.

Gerald Paul Pambianco, 30, of Plains Twp., and Derek Lee Spaide, 27, of Hanover Twp., have both agreed to plead guilty to counts of armed bank robbery and using a firearm during the commission of a violent crime, according to plea agreements filed Monday.

The men face a mandatory minimum sentence of seven years in prison for the weapons charge, and could face up to life imprisonment. The plea agreement says the U.S. Attorney’s Office will make a sentencing recommendation “it considers appropriate based upon the nature and circumstances of the case” and does not rule out prosecutors seeking the maximum term.

The men are due in court Thursday to enter their pleas before U.S. District Court Judge Malachy E. Mannion.

A federal grand jury indicted the men in May on the charges alleging they robbed the Luzerne National Bank at 1077 state Route 315 the afternoon of May 16.

According to the indictment, the men possessed two Ruger 10/22 rifles and a Savage Arms .22-caliber rifle during the robbery. Prosecutors alleged that Spaide entered the bank with a T-shirt covering his face and pointed one of the rifles at an employee as he demanded cash. Spaide then fled the bank with $8,204 in cash and got into the getaway car, driven by Pambianco, the indictment alleged.

The men fled the scene but a Pittston Twp. police officer spotted them driving north on Interstate 81, and they were captured after a high-speed chase.

Both men are also awaiting trial on state burglary charges connected to two burglaries that took place the same day as the bank robbery. 

Prosecutors say they burgled a home on Confers Lane, Salem Twp., stealing nearly $3,700 in property, and broke into a home on South Main Street, Hanover Twp., stealing four televisions, other electronics and three rifles.

Police have said the men decided to rob the bank because they failed to get any cash during the home burglaries.

Both men are being detained on the federal charges at the Lackawanna County Prison.