ShareThis Page
Judge: Westmoreland bank robber’s heroin addiction made him ‘Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde’ |

Judge: Westmoreland bank robber’s heroin addiction made him ‘Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde’


A Clairton man who admitted robbing two banks in Westmoreland County in 2013 had a drug addiction that made made him act “like Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde,” a federal judge said before sentencing Raymond Zwibel to five years in prison.

During Zwibel’s sentencing Thursday on two counts of bank robbery, U.S. District Court Judge David Cercone noted that Zwibel, 46, once saved an inmate from hanging himself but continued to commit numerous crimes — including the 2013 robberies — because of his heroin addiction, according to U.S. Attorney Scott W. Brady.

Cercone also ordered Zwibel to serve three years of supervised release, Brady said.

According to information presented to the court, Zwibel stole $3,700 from the First Commonwealth Bank in New Alexandria on Aug. 19, 2013, and then acted as the getaway driver for co-defendant Matthew Stanley, of Pittsburgh’s South Hills, who stole $2,413 from the Citizens Bank in Latrobe on Aug. 23, 2013.

The Latrobe bank robbery occurred as city officials dedicated a state historical marker recognizing Latrobe as the birthplace of the banana split.

Stanley, who is in state prison on an unrelated drug sentence, pleaded guilty to the robberies on Sept. 6 and is scheduled to be sentenced by Cercone on Feb. 1.

Zwibel also robbed another bank, a First Commonwealth Bank in West Mifflin, without Stanley’s help on Jan. 30 and was prosecuted in Allegheny County in 2014, prosecutors said.

Zwibel could have been sentenced up to 40 years in prison and fined up to $500,000, or both.

Paul Peirce is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Paul at 724-850-2860, [email protected] or via Twitter @ppeirce_trib.

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.