Police searching for SPE Federal Credit Union robber
A State College man was charged Thursday in U.S. Middle District Court and agreed to plead guilty for his role in the 2017 armed robbery at SPE Federal Credit Union in Ferguson Township and subsequent bomb threats.
Rodrequis Armanti Council, 32, was charged with four total felony charges of conspiracy, terroristic threats and receiving stolen property, according to court documents.
Police said Council conspired with Marquis L. Buckley, 41, of Georgia, to build bomb-like devices and place them at Research West on Penn State's campus and at the North Atherton Street Walmart in an effort to allegedly divert police away from the credit union.
Buckley, an alleged serial robber, was charged June 18 with armed bank robbery in U.S. Middle District Court in Williamsport, and is awaiting prosecution in Virginia, where he is facing other charges.
According to court documents, the two met while serving time at Petersburg Federal Correctional Institution in Virginia, and remained in contact once released.
The decision to rob the credit union was reportedly made last summer when Buckley was staying with Council in State College, and police allege it was Council who selected SPE Federal Credit Union for Buckley to rob.
Police were called to SPE Federal Credit Union at 650 Science Park Road on Aug. 22 after employees triggered a silent alarm for an armed robbery in progress. According to police, Buckley entered the credit union at 3:54 p.m. wearing a long purple dress, an ivory head covering, gloves and a mask. The teller reportedly told police he demanded money and placed a device on the counter, indicating that he was armed and the device was a bomb.
After receiving the $7,200 in cash, Buckley fled on foot across Science Park Road and headed east as SWAT teams, aided by FBI and local police departments, swarmed the area in pursuit.
According to court documents, the bomb threats were made to 911 from a phone card purchased by Buckley, who was driven to Walmart by Council. The two created the packages from household items they reportedly purchased together. Buckley reportedly placed one package on the roof of Walmart, while Council placed the other near the Research West Building.
Bomb squads responded to all three threats, and determined the devices were nonexplosive.
Council was arrested by Ferguson Township police on Nov. 3 and is being held in Centre County jail in lieu of $300,000 bail. He has a pretrial hearing before President Judge Pamela Ruest set for July 16.