Lewiston man gets four years for robbing the same credit union

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Brent Roaix, convicted of robbing Rainbow Federal Credit Union in Lewiston on two separate occasions, makes an appeal to the judge before his sentencing Friday in Androscoggin County Superior Court in Auburn to the 2014 robbery. His attorney, Randall Bates, sits to his left.

AUBURN — A Lewiston man who twice robbed the same credit union near his home over a three-year span will serve a total of nine years in prison.

An Androscoggin County Superior Court judge sentenced Brent Roaix, 34, of 76 Elm St. on Friday to eight years in state prison, with half of that time suspended. Two days earlier, a federal judge in Portland sentenced Roaix to five years in prison.

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In both cases, Roaix had robbed the Federal Rainbow Credit Union on Main Street in Lewiston. For the 2014 robbery, his case remained in state court; for the January robbery, he was prosecuted in federal court.

He also robbed Community Credit Union in Lewiston in 2014.

Androscoggin County Superior Court Justice MaryGay Kennedy on Friday had the option of making Roaix’s sentence concurrent to his federal sentence so that he might be freed in five years.

But Kennedy told Roaix that she wouldn’t consider overlapping the sentences.

“This is the exact same crime” that he committed a second time, while on bail for this crime, she said, explaining why Roaix will serve back-to-back sentences.

“You had robbed a bank. And that put the people that worked in that bank in fear. It put the community at fear. It was a serious crime that you committed,” she said of the 2014 robbery.

Then, she said, “You went on to commit virtually the exact same crime at the same bank.”

Roaix’s attorney, Randall Bates, had argued that Roaix should be given the opportunity to enroll in federal programs offered to federal prisoners after their release from prison in an effort to put him on a better path to recovery for mental health and substance abuse problems.

“We believe it’s not time to give up on Brent,” Randall said.

Roaix told the judge he was on a new regimen of medications to address his mental health needs.

He didn’t dispute the charges nor the terms of the plea agreement he had hammered out when he had enrolled in Androscoggin County’s drug court, before he was kicked out of that program.

“I did what I did,” he said of his crimes.

He acknowledged that drug court “helped me a lot” for the time he spent in it before being discharged.

Roaix said he planned to leave Maine as soon as he serves his time to start over and “try something new.”

A judge said that other minor charges included in his plea agreement will be served at the same time as the robberies.

In both 2014 credit union robberies, Roaix had handed notes to tellers demanding cash. At Community Credit Union, he claimed he was armed, but the teller saw no weapon. Although he didn’t threaten to use a weapon in the Rainbow Federal Credit Union robbery, the teller believed he was armed, she told police.

Police identified Roaix from surveillance video. He was wanted on outstanding warrants, on which he was arrested before being charged for the robberies.

A federal judge in U.S. District Court in Portland sentenced Roaix to be on supervised release for three years after he’s released from prison. Kennedy on Friday imposed a probation period of two years.

While on probation, Roaix must not have any alcohol, illegal drugs or marijuana. He must pay nearly roughly $5,000 in restitution to Rainbow Federal Credit Union and nearly $1,000 to Community Credit Union.

He will be barred from entering either bank and must have no contact with the tellers to whom he gave the robbery notes. He also must undergo substance abuse treatment.

cwilliams@sunjournal.com

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