CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- A federal jury in the Western District of North Carolina, Charlotte
Division, convicted Michael Gene Terrelonge, 42, -- also known as the “Bearded Bandit”-- for his
armed robberies of two Charlotte area banks and a Charlotte area credit union.
The jury’s guilty verdict on October 19, 2010, followed nearly two days of evidence involving evidence of
Terrelonge’s robbery of each bank or credit union on multiple occasions over the past six years. The
robberies were investigated by the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department (CMPD) and the
Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).
The indictment charged Terrelonge with robbing the Wachovia Bank branch at 10210
Couloak Drive, Charlotte, North Carolina; the Clearview Federal Credit Union at 2830 Boyer Street,
Charlotte, North Carolina; and the RBC Bank Branch at 1000 East Boulevard, Charlotte, North
Carolina. The jury found that Terrelonge robbed each bank at gunpoint.
The evidence at trial was that Terrelonge was apprehended while fleeing from the scene of
the October 1, 2009, armed robbery of the Wachovia Bank branch on Couloak Drive. In the get-away
van driven by co-defendant Latries George, who pled guilty before trial, CMPD Officers found
the hat, mask, gloves, and 9mm semiautomatic pistol used to rob the Wachovia Bank branch.
Terrelonge had a loaded .38 special revolver in his waistband and was wearing a bulletproof vest.
Evidence at trial showed that Terrelonge admitted to being the “Bearded Bandit,” and detailed his
involvement in a number of area armed bank robberies from 2004 to 2009.
Today’s announcement is made by U.S. Attorney Anne M. Tompkins, who is joined by Owen
Harris, Special Agent in Charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation in North Carolina, and Chief
Rodney Monroe of the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department. “The Bearded Bandit’s
adventures in this District are over. Those who would rob banks should hear this jury’s verdict loud
and clear: we will catch you, and you will be convicted,” said U.S. Attorney Anne M. Tompkins of
the Western District of North Carolina.
Following Tuesday’s conviction, Chief U.S. District Judge Robert J. Conrad, Jr. announced
that sentencing would take place on a later date, and that Terrelonge would be held in the custody
of the United States Marshal’s Service pending that hearing. Federal law calls for a mandatory
sentence of fifty-seven (57) years imprisonment for the firearm offenses of which Terrelonge was
convicted, to be served consecutively to the sentence imposed for the robberies.
The statutory maximum punishment for each of the three armed bank robbery offenses of which he was convicted is twenty-five (25) years imprisonment. Terms of imprisonment in the federal system are served
without the possibility of parole.
The case was investigated by the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department and the FBI. The
prosecution was handled for the government by Assistant U.S. Attorney Mark A. Jones of the U.S.
Attorney’s Office in Charlotte.