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Robber who served time for bank job in Florida sentenced for Gainesville robbery

A Cleveland man was sentenced to 10 years in prison for robbing a Gainesville bank in 2017 after serving more than three years for bank robbery in Florida, according to court documents.

John-Ray Alexander Brown, 31, pleaded guilty April 6 to armed robbery, aggravated assault, theft by taking and possession of a firearm during the commission of a felony.

Superior Court Judge Bonnie Oliver sentenced Brown to 25 years with the first 10 in prison. After the first 10 years, the remainder of the sentence can be served on probation.

Brown was wearing an Elmer Fudd style snow hat, sunglasses and jacket Nov. 8, 2017, into the Wells Fargo bank on Jesse Jewell Parkway, according to the transcript from the plea hearing.

Brown handed the teller a note that told her to give him all the money and “no one (would) get hurt,” according to the prosecution.

The prosecution said Brown left with $8,140 from the Gainesville bank, and authorities released a photo of him to the media.

Police then received calls from some of Brown’s family, who identified him, according to the prosecution.

About six weeks later, Brown robbed a second bank.

He entered a Bank of America in Lake Worth, Florida, Dec. 21, 2017, while wearing a wig of dreadlocks, a surgical mask and a pair of gloves, according to federal court documents.

According to an FBI agent’s affidavit, Brown gave the teller a note that said:

“I need all the money you got now and fast don’t raise alarm and I won’t hurt anyone, I have a gun.”

A teller was able to slip a tracking device in with the money, which allowed the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office to follow the vehicle Brown left in.

After a traffic stop, Brown took off his backpack, and a deputy saw money fall out, according to the FBI agent’s affidavit. 

“It was later discovered that $24,904 along with the two trackers from the bank were found in the backpack Brown was carrying,” according to the affidavit. “A gun was also recovered from the same backpack.”

Brown entered a plea in May 2018 to bank robbery and was sentenced to 51 months in prison.

According to the Bureau of Prisons, he was released on Aug. 5, 2021. Brown was then brought back to Hall County and booked in to the jail two weeks later.

Brown was also ordered to pay $8,140 in restitution to Wells Fargo 

Defense attorneys Timmy McClain and Larry Duttweiler did not return requests for comment.