The nationwide robbery brings the Columbus man to federal prison

Previously convicted felons committed armed robbery across Georgia

SAVANNAH, GA: A Columbus man who crossed Georgia during a series of robberies was sentenced to 20 years in prison.

Lawrence Dominique Franklin, 37, from Columbus, Georgia, was sentenced to 240 months in prison by U.S. District Judge William T. Moore Jr. after pleading guilty of armed bank robbery, bank robbery and tampering with trade, said David H. Estes, Acting US – Attorney for the Southern District of Georgia. After completing his sentence, Franklin must be released under custody for five years. There is no parole in the federal system.

“Lawrence Franklin, a previously convicted armed robber, was released barely four months before picking up a gun and threatening shop and bank clerks in several violent robberies across Georgia,” said acting US attorney Estes. “Our law enforcement partners have done an excellent job identifying and bringing Franklin to justice, and once again removed this threat from our streets.”

“Over the course of a week, Lawrence Franklin traced a path of violence and chaos from one end of Georgia to the other,” said Kurt R. Erskine, acting US attorney for the Northern District of Georgia. “Fortunately, rapid and collaborative action at state and federal levels resulted in the defendant being arrested and brought to justice.”

“This violent criminal will be imprisoned for many years without parole where he can no longer threaten our communities,” said Peter D. Leary, acting US attorney for the Middle District of Georgia. “I recommend to our federal, state and local law enforcement officers that they prosecute this defendant across the state and bring them to justice.”

As detailed in court, documents and testimony, Franklin was released in July 2019 after spending more than 11 years in state prison for armed robbery. He then began a violent crime that began on November 25, 2019 when he walked into a Wells Fargo bank in Columbus, Georgia wearing a construction workers vest, pointed a gun at the manager, and threatened to “blow up” several bank employees. Before leaving, he stole thousands of dollars from several cashier stations.

Three days later, he again robbed a construction workers vest, robbed a Dollar General Store in Savannah, forced a clerk to open the store safe, and fled with a large amount of cash. The next day, he robbed a Wells Fargo bank in Newnan, Georgia, again revealing a gun under a construction workers’ vest and threatening to shoot bank employees.

Franklin told police officers that to facilitate his crimes, he kidnapped a woman and threatened to harm her children unless she drove him from one robbery to the next and helped him escape.

Franklin was arrested in Atlanta within three days of the Newnan attack. After the grand juries filed separate robbery charges, the cases in the southern district of Georgia were consolidated for pleading and conviction.

“Franklin has decided to continue his life as a criminal after spending nearly a dozen years in prison,” said Chris Hacker, FBI Atlanta special agent. “He obviously hasn’t learned his lesson and has continued to terrorize innocent civilians who were simply in the wrong place at the wrong time. Hopefully these victims can comfort themselves a little that he is going back to prison and will not pose a threat to them for a long time. “

The case has been investigated by the FBI, the Savannah Police Department, the Columbus Police Department, the Newnan Police Department and the Atlanta Police Department. It is being prosecuted for the United States by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Georgia. by US assistant attorney Theodore S. Hertzberg of the northern district of Georgia; and by US assistant attorney Chris Williams of the Middle District of Georgia.