Indian-American sentenced to over 21 yrs for bank robbery

Washington: An Indian-American has been sentenced by a US court to 21 years and 3 months in prison for a 2008 armed bank robbery during which he shot a bank teller in the hand leaving her "permanently" injured and took away USD 23,471 along with two of his accomplices.

The verdict against 43-year-old Anirudh Lakhan Sukhu was delivered yesterday by the Maryland Court, which also sentenced him to four years of supervised release after completion of his 21 years and 3 months imprisonment, said US Attorney for the District of Maryland Rod J Rosenstein.

According to his plea agreement, Sukhu met two conspirators, Sharman Said and Omar Burnett, on November 20, 2008 to plan a robbery of the Bank of America located on Ten Oaks Road in Clarksville, Maryland.

That same morning, the robbers rode to the bank in Sukhu's pick-up truck and entered, brandishing guns and announcing the robbery. Burnett brandished his handgun, vaulted the counter and demanded money from the tellers.

Sukhu, armed with a sawed-off 12 gauge shotgun, entered an office where a bank employee was hiding and ordered the employee to come out. "When the employee moved, Sukhu fired, shooting the employee in the hand and permanently injuring her," the plea agreement stated.

Sukhu then also vaulted the counter and took money from the tellers, which he placed in a red and black bag, while Said remained at the front door, armed with a handgun, and served as a look-out. The robbers took USD 23,471 and fled from the bank in the truck.