Man convicted on federal bank robbery, firearm charges

A Charleston man was convicted Thursday of federal bank robbery and firearm charges.

A trial for Leonard Riley III, 32, lasted three days, according to a news release from the U.S. District Attorney’s Office. He was convicted on charges of conspiring to commit armed bank robbery, armed bank robbery and possession of a firearm in furtherance of a crime of violence, the release said.

Armed bank robbery, the heftiest of the charges, carries a maximum 25-year prison sentence.

District Judge David Norton will sentence Riley at a later date, the release said.

The charges were made in connection with a string of robberies at a liquor store and three banks in Charleston and Georgetown counties.

Riley and a co-defendant, 47-year-old Ryan Bonneau of Charleston, were arrested by Georgetown police within hours of a robbery at a Citizen’s Bank on March 3. Surveillance video and details gathered from previous robberies led detectives to the men, federal prosecutors said.

Detectives searched the car driven by the defendants and found clothing worn by the robbers, stolen money and guns, the release said.

Bonneau pleaded guilty to the charges and confessed to a jury that he and Riley committed the string of robberies. Bonneau, too, will face sentencing later.

Charleston and Georgetown police investigated the case along with the FBI.

Assistant U.S. Attorneys Nathan Williams and Emmanuel Ferguson prosecuted the case.

Reach Christina Elmore at 937-5908 or at Twitter.com/celmorePC.