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.