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Man accused in Chambersburg bank robbery gets prison term

March 25, 2012

BALTIMORE — U.S. District Judge Benson E. Legg recently sentenced Robert Gene Harris, 29, of Chambersburg, Pa., to 10 1/2 years in prison for conspiracy to commit armed robberies of a bank and pharmacies, and use of a firearm during a crime of violence, according to a news release from the U.S. Department of Justice.

Legg also ordered Harris to be under supervised release for three years after his prison term and to pay restitution of $14,925.

The sentence was announced by U.S. Attorney for the District of Maryland Rod J. Rosenstein; Special Agent in Charge Richard A. McFeely of the Federal Bureau of Investigation; Baltimore City State’s Attorney Gregg L. Bernstein; and Baltimore Police Commissioner Frederick H. Bealefeld III.

The news release cited the plea agreements of Harris and his co-conspirators — Ernest Widener, Freddie Douglas Widener, Richard Adams and Lacy Varner. It stated the group conspired to rob a bank and pharmacies to obtain money and drugs between July and November 2010.

Ernest Widener acquired two handguns in Baltimore that were used by other members of the conspiracy during the robberies, the news release said.

On July 30, 2010, Robert Gene Harris and Freddie Widener robbed the M&T Bank on Philadelphia Avenue in Chambersburg, armed with the handguns supplied by Ernest Widener, the news release said.

Harris was arrested at the scene, but Freddie Widener fled in Harris’ car, the news release said.

On Sept. 15, 2010, Freddie Widener and Adams attempted to rob the Loch Raven Pharmacy on East Northern Parkway in Baltimore City. Both were armed, and Freddie Widener fired his gun during the attempted robbery, according to the release.

Adams was apprehended at the scene, but Widener escaped with Varner in the getaway car, according to the release.

That vehicle was later set on fire.

Ernest Widener, 54, of Baltimore; Freddie Douglas Widener, 55, of Dundalk, Md.; Richard Adams, 53, of Baltimore; and Terry Blair, 52, of Baltimore, previously pleaded guilty to their roles in the robberies.

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