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May 23, 2019

Serial bank robber pleads guilty to bank robbery spree, faces up to 20 years

March 13, 2019
Recently paroled Justin Gass (pictured), 40, pleaded guilty Tuesday to charges linked to a six-week crime spree during which he robbed four banks in Queens and a fifth in Brooklyn. (Obtained by the New York Daily News)

He returned to a life of crime — and now he’s headed back to jail, too.

Ex-con Justin Gass faces 20 years in prison after pleading guilty Tuesday to three bank robberies committed during a six-week spree through Queens and Brooklyn last summer. He was released from state prison barely two months before the first heist occurred.


The 40-year-old recidivist thief, who presented the bank tellers in each case with a threatening note before bolting with the cash, told Brooklyn Federal Magistrate James Orenstein that he has struggled with a drug problem “for a while.”

Sentencing was set for June 18, roughly a year since Gass was paroled from state prison after serving 13 months of a two- to four-year term for grand larceny and forgery. He was out on the street for just two months before the first robbery on Aug. 17 at the Valley National Bank branch in Queens.

The tattooed Gass, who wore a baseball cap and sunglasses in a security camera shot taken inside one bank, was accused of two more robberies on Sept. 24 and 28.

He’s served two other stints in state prison, one for a 2002 burglary conviction and the other for a 2011 attempted robbery conviction. He was arrested Dec. 21 and imprisoned pending his plea.

The timing of his arrest made Gass one of the inmates locked up inside the federal Metropolitan Detention Center in Brooklyn when the heat reportedly went out during the government shutdown.

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