Man sentenced to over 44 years in prison for armed robberies in Berks, Lebanon and York counties

Derek Pelker (March 2016)

HARRISBURG — The United States Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Pennsylvania announced that Derek Pelker, age 29, of Reading, Pennsylvania was sentenced on July 10, 2019, by U.S. District Court Judge Yvette Kane to 533 months’ imprisonment for armed bank robbery.  As part of his sentencing, Judge Kane also ordered Pelker to pay restitution in the amount of $318,000.

According to United States Attorney David J. Freed, Pelker was convicted on May 21, 2019, on four counts of armed bank robbery, four counts of conspiracy to commit armed bank robbery, two counts of brandishing a firearm in relation to a crime of violence; and, two counts of possession of a firearm by a felon.  The charges stem from the armed robbery of the Susquehanna Bank in East Prospect, Pennsylvania on April 24, 2015; the BB&T Bank in Valley View, Pennsylvania on November 16, 2015; the Gratz Bank in Valley View, Pennsylvania on January 14, 2016; and the M&T Bank in Lebanon on April 5, 2016.

Pelkers co-defendants were previously sentenced for their involvement in the robberies:

  • June 13, 2018, Ryan Martin was sentenced to 100 months’ imprisonment for his involvement in the BB&T and Gratz robberies;
  • July 16, 2018, Morgan Steiner was sentenced to 9 month’s imprisonment for purchasing the firearm Pelker used in the Susquehanna Robbery;
  • July 24, 2018, Lindsay Scholl was sentenced to 12 months’ imprisonment for  the attempted disposal of the weapon used in the Lebanon Robbery;
  • July 24, 2018, Kelsie Bair was sentenced to 12 months’ imprisonment also for the attempted to disposal of the weapon used in the Lebanon Robbery;
  • July 24, 2018, Andrew Ishman was sentenced to 48 months’ imprisonment for his involvement in the Susquehanna Robbery;
  • August 21, 2018, Shannon Gadzouris was sentenced to 84 months’ imprisonment for his involvement in the M&T robbery;
  • August 22, 2018, Ryan Miller was sentenced to 96 months’ imprisonment for his involvement in the Susquehanna Robbery and the robbery of the National Penn Bank in Oley, Pennsylvania on May 20, 2015; and
  • December 17, 2018, Derek Pelker’s brother, Keith Pelker,  was sentenced to 132 months’ imprisonment for his involvement in the Gratz and M&T robberies.

The case was investigated by the FBI Capital City Violent Crimes Task Force, the Pennsylvania State Police, the South Lebanon Township Police Department, and the U.S. Marshals Fugitive Task Force.  The Capital City Violent Crimes Task Force consists of representatives from the FBI’s Harrisburg Field Office and the Harrisburg Police Department.  Assistant U.S. Attorney Scott R. Ford prosecuted the case.

This case is part of Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), a program bringing together all levels of law enforcement and the communities they serve to reduce violent crime and make our neighborhoods safer for everyone. The Department of Justice reinvigorated PSN in 2017 as part of the Department’s renewed focus on targeting violent criminals, directing all U.S. Attorney’s Offices to work in partnership with federal, state, local, and tribal law enforcement and the local community to develop effective, locally-based strategies to reduce violent crime.

Source: United States Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Pennsylvania

Notice: you are using an outdated browser. Microsoft does not recommend using IE as your default browser. Some features on this website, like video and images, might not work properly. For the best experience, please upgrade your browser.