An Indian American in Baltimore, Maryland has pleaded guilty to armed bank robbery in which he allegedly shot a teller in the hand and led the police on a long chase through four counties.
US District Judge William D Quarles Jr has scheduled a sentencing for October 15 for robber Anirudh Lakhan Sukhu, 42, US attorney for the district of Maryland Rod J Rosenstein said on Friday.
Sukhu, who remains in federal custody, faces a maximum sentence of 25 years in prison for armed robbery; and a mandatory minimum of 10 years and a maximum of life in prison, consecutive to any other sentence, for using a firearm during a crime of violence.
According to his plea agreement, Sukhu met two conspirators - Sharman Said and Omar Burnett - on November 20, 2008 to plan a robbery of a Bank of America branch in Clarksville, Maryland.
They then rode to the bank in Sukhu's pick-up truck and entered, brandishing guns and announcing the robbery. Burnett brandished his handgun, vaulted the counter and demanded money from the tellers.
Sukhu, armed with a sawed-off 12 gauge shotgun, entered an office where a bank employee was hiding and ordered the employee to "come out".
As the employee began to come out, Sukhu shot the employee, who was injured in the hand.
Sukhu then also vaulted the counter and took money from the tellers, which he placed in a red and black bag. Said remained at the front door, armed with a handgun, and served as a look-out.
The robbers took $23,471 and fled from the bank in the truck. A witness called 911 and gave a description of the vehicle.
Law enforcement officers pursued the robbers at high speeds through four counties. The robbers eventually abandoned the truck in Montgomery County near Said's home and they fled on foot.
Sukhu later called 911 to falsely report that he had been the victim of a carjacking involving his pick-up truck, the same truck used in the robbery.
However, during a subsequent interview with police, Sukhu admitted participating in the robbery and admitted that he was the robber who fired the shotgun, injuring the bank employee, Rosenstein said.