Recidivist bank robber sentenced to prison

A Tupelo man was sentenced to 20 years in prison on Tuesday following his conviction for bank robbery. Jasper Wagner, 57, appeared for sentencing before United States District Judge Sharion Aycock, who departed upward from a lower suggested sentencing range and sentenced Wagner to the maximum sentence of 20 years. In imposing the sentence, Aycock noted that Wagner had 10 prior convictions for bank robbery and that the sentence was necessary to deter him from similar future conduct.

 According to court documents, Wagner entered the Community Bank, located at 307 West Main Street in Tupelo, on April 6 and presented a teller with a demand note which read: “Stay calm no alarms, no dye packs, turn your money machine on till I say stop – $100s 4 50s Keep your hands from under the counter.”

Upon realizing that the robber was serious, the teller noticed that she could not see the robber’s hands or determine whether he had a gun, and she gave him $5,000. The teller recognized the robber as a bank customer and Wagner was subsequently identified from surveillance video released to the public. Investigating officers tracked Wagner to a hotel in Leeds, Alabama where they obtained a search warrant for his room on the day of the robbery and recovered $4,850 of the stolen money.

Court records indicate that Wagner had previously been convicted of multiple counts of bank robbery in 2001 and 2012.

“This defendant’s actions violently interrupted what should have been a normal workday for bank employees and victims,” stated U.S. Attorney Clay Joyner.  “The Department of Justice and this office will always do our utmost to protect our community from violence, threats of violence, and repeat offenders who seek to prey upon others. We commend the Tupelo Police Department, the Leeds Police Department, and the FBI for their outstanding work and coordinated efforts to apprehend this offender so quickly.”

Following the sentencing, Tupelo Police Chief John Quaka remarked, “I am very proud of the concentrated efforts of the Tupelo Police Department, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and the United States Attorney’s Office, Northern District of Mississippi, in this case.  Jasper Wagner’s maximum sentence of twenty years is a direct reflection of the outstanding investigative and prosecutorial skills of these agencies.”

FBI Special Agent in Charge Jermicha Fomby also reiterated the importance of this investigation and prosecution. “The FBI is committed to safeguarding the financial institutions and the citizens of our community,” stated Fomby. “We remain devoted to tirelessly investigating the nefarious actions of criminals, like Mr. Jasper Wagner, and successfully bringing them to justice.”

The Tupelo Police and FBI investigated the case with significant assistance from the Leeds, Alabama Police Department who arrested Wagner the day of the bank robbery.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Paul Roberts prosecuted the case.

Bob Bakken

Bob Bakken is the most recognized and most trusted name in DeSoto County news and sports reporting, as readers continue to express their appreciation for his accuracy and fairness in the stories he writes. Bob provides content for DeSoto County News and occasionally is heard on the OB Pod podcast talking about area happenings. A former newspaper editor and writer, his award-winning background also includes television news producing, sports media relations, and radio broadcasting.

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