Bruce Allen Hughes, 48, of Blairsville was sentenced Monday by U.S. District Judge Richard Story to more than 100 years in federal prison.
On Aug. 21, he pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit armed robbery, five counts of armed bank robbery, six counts of using a firearm during the commission of a violent felony and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon.
Hughes, known as the “Crown Royal Bandit” was charged with robbing 29 banks at gunpoint between May 1997 and February 2008. None were in Hall County, with the closest robbery being in Athens.
“This defendant victimized unsuspecting customers and employees of dozens of banks over the course of a decade,” acting U.S. Attorney Sally Quillian Yates said. “Today’s sentence effectively and justly ends the reign of terror of the Crown Royal Bandit, leaving him to spend the rest of his days behind bars.”
Hughes was sentenced to 127 years in prison to be followed by five years of supervised release. He also was ordered to pay restitution of approximately $300,000.
The FBI and other agencies referred to the string of robberies as having been committed by the Crown Royal Bandit because, in the first few bank robberies, the robber used purple Crown Royal liquor bags to collect the cash.