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Judge gives maximum sentence for Gresham bank robbery

A man who robbed a Gresham bank last summer will spend eight years in federal prison — the maximum sentence allowed for the crime.

David Earl Cohens, 48, of Portland pleaded guilty in March to one count of bank robbery and was sentenced on Monday, Nov. 19, to 96 months in prison for robbing the Key Bank at 1532 N.E. 181st Avenue near Halsey Street on Aug. 11, 2011.David Cohens

On that day, Cohens demanded money from two tellers, who handed over $2,662, said Gerri Badden, spokeswoman for U.S. Attorney's Office.

As one of the tellers triggered a silent alarm, Cohens left with the money in a laptop computer bag and got into a black Cadillac driven by Delbert Bernard Brown, 61, of Portland.

Within minutes, Gresham police issued a bulletin with the suspect's physical description, including his clothing and direction of travel.

A nearby Portland Police officer got behind the get-away car, whose driver pulled over without being directed to. The officer noticed Cohens sit up in the back seat and took both men out of the car.Delbert Brown

That's when she noticed a $20 bill on the floor of the car, a hat and a computer bag in the back seat — all of which matched robbery details provided by the bank tellers.

A Gresham bank robbery task force officer searched the car and recovered the stolen money in the computer bag, a fishing hat worn during the robbery and a loaded revolver. The gun was found in the back seat where Cohens had been sitting.

Police arrested both men and took Brown, the get-away-car driver, to the hospital for treatment of chest pains. Brown also pleaded guilty in March to one count of bank robbery and will be sentenced in January.

Cohens was sentenced to 16 months in prison for a 1994 jewelry store robbery. He also was convicted of burglary in 1995.

District Court Judge Michael Mosman had the option of sentencing Cohen to as little as 77 months but instead gave him the maximum sentence of 96 months.

Mosman noted that the robbery had profound effects on one of the victims. According to a police report, she said the robbery was scarier than most bank robberies because of Cohens' abusive and foul language, as well as his abrasive demeanor.

After the robbery, the teller had a hard time sleeping, got a dog and saw a counselor. She still gets nervous whenever she sees a customer wearing a hoodie or carrying a backpack.



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