Previously Convicted Bank Robber escaped prison, robbed a bank

Stock Photo Big Stock Photo Bank Robbery

CONTACT: Barbara Burns

PHONE: (716) 843-5817

FAX #: (716) 551-3051

BUFFALO, N.Y. – U.S. Attorney James P. Kennedy, Jr. announced today that Joseph Licata, 52, of Buffalo, NY, who was convicted of bank robbery, was sentenced to serve 151 months in prison by U.S. District Judge John L. Sinatra, Jr.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Brendan T. Cullinane, who is handling the case, stated that on January 17, 2020, the defendant escaped from the custody of the United States Penitentiary Coleman II in Sumterville, Florida. On January 21, 2020, Licata entered the M&T Bank branch on Grant Street in Buffalo, and passed a demand note to the victim-teller. The note threatened the teller if the teller did not give him cash. Later that same day, the defendant entered a Speedway Gas Station on Elmwood Avenue in Buffalo and demanded cash.  The victim-clerk complied and gave U.S. currency to the defendant. Law enforcement officers arrested Licata and found him in possession of currency taken during the robberies.

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In 2010, Licata, having previously been convicted in federal court of committing a bank robbery in Buffalo, was sentenced to serve 120 months in prison. 

The sentencing is the culmination of an investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, under the direction of Special Agent-in-Charge Stephen Belongia, and the Buffalo Police Department, under the direction of Commissioner Byron Lockwood.

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