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Bank robbery suspects indicted

By By Lisa Tindell
news editor

The case against two suspects indicted Thursday on charges of robbing two banks in East Brewton and Flomaton is a “slam dunk,” police officials said.
Rhianna Marie Jones and Jerry Tinsley were both indicted by a federal grand jury on charges of bank robbery. They face a possible sentence of 10 years for each of the two Class C felony counts filed against them.
East Brewton Police Chief Kenny Brazile said the indictment allowed him to close the case for his department.
Jones and Tinsley are accused of robbing three banks in Alabama, but were only indicted in federal court on the Flomaton and East Brewton robberies. According to court records, the pair took $4,963 in cash from the United Bank branch in Flomaton and $2,840 from the BankTrust in East Brewton.
The couple are also accused of robbing a bank in Florala March 1 with charges in that case likely to be filed as state charges rather than federal charges, Brazile said.
Brazile said officers from several agencies were involved in the initial investigation and in the capture and arrests of the two suspects. “We had great cooperation with several departments and we are thankful for their help,” Brazile said. “Through the work of all of the agencies, we were able to get the case solved quickly.”
Brazile said officers with the East Brewton Police Department, Brewton Police Department, the Escambia County Sheriff’s Department, Alabama Bureau of Investigation and Federal Bureau of Investigation collaborated on the case, resulting in the arrest of the couple suspected of the crimes.
The pair was arrested March 18 after a brief chase in Destin, Fla., where they had apparently been staying in a motel after their alleged crime spree. They were arrested just one day after the East Brewton BankTrust branch was robbed.
In all three bank robberies, the suspects approached tellers at the banks and presented hand-written notes demanding money. No weapons were displayed during any of the robberies, and there were no injuries during the commission of the crimes.
Tinsley and Jones also face charges in Florida relating to the police chase that ended in their arrest.
Tinsley was charged with fleeing/eluding police and fleeing/eluding law enforcement at high speed, resisting an officer and obstruction without violence and a third-degree felony charge of possession of a controlled substance without a prescription. Jones was charged with resisting an officer and obstruction without violence.