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Accused Oakland Bank Robber Expected To Plead Guilty In June

Cornelius Bradford

By David Howell


OXFORD – A Tallahatchie County man is expected to plead guilty on June 7 in U.S. District Court for an armed robbery at Bancorp South in Oakland last December. Cornelius R. Bradford faces a three count federal indictment, including armed bank robbery, assault and felon in possession of firearm after he allegedly stole over $13,000 during an armed robbery on December 15, 2017.

Video surveillance from inside the bank showed the alleged suspect was in and out of the bank in less than two minutes after brandishing a pistol and demanding money. His new-found wealth was short-lived, as seconds after he exited the bank his getaway was interrupted when multiple dye packs exploded. The money had been stashed in a bank teller’s purse also taken during the robbery. Both the purse and the currency were hastily discarded and recovered by law enforcement behind the bank.

Oakland Police Chief Russ Smith told the Herald that a report of a white SUV with loud pipes helped authorities track down Bradford as a suspect in the hours and days following the robbery as officers with multiple agencies worked long hours.

Bradford was interviewed four days after the robbery and FBI agents discovered a Glock pistol hidden in his front console of the vehicle matching the description of a vehicle believed to be connected with the crime.  Bradford admitted during the interview that he was the only person who had access to the vehicle and was the only person who droved the white SUV, on the day of the crime.

Following the interview, Bradford was taken into custody and initially charged with felon in possession of a firearm. He was indicted the next month by a federal grand jury on all the three counts and transferred from state custody to federal custody. He faces a maximum of 10 years imprisonment for count one, felon in possession of a firearm; a maximum of 25 years imprisonment for count two, assault; and a maximum seven years imprisonment, in addition to the punishment provided for other counts for which a conviction is obtained, for court three, bank robbery.  All three counts also carry a fine of up to $250,000.

The Oakland Police Department, Yalobusha County Sheriff’s Department, Mississippi Bureau of Investigation (MBI) and Mississippi Highway Patrol assisted the FBI in the investigation.

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