Man sentenced for bank and business robberies

Acting U.S. Attorney Jennifer Arbittier Williams announced that Gerald Griffith, also known as “Jerry Porecca,” 47, was sentenced to nine years and two months in prison and three years of supervised release by District Court Judge Nitza I. Quinones Alejandro for a nearly six-month-long crime spree during which he robbed eight banks and businesses.

In December 2019, the defendant pleaded guilty to two counts of bank robbery, two counts of armed bank robbery and four counts of Hobbs Act robbery. The charges, the U.S. Attorney’s office said, arose from a drug-fueled crime spree from July to December 2018, during which Griffith robbed or attempted to rob four separate banks as well as four convenience or grocery stores, all in Philadelphia.

The defendant’s series of robberies began on July 9, 2018, when he attempted to rob the BB&T Bank at 6633 Roosevelt Blvd. by threatening to blow up the bank, and then robbed the Firstrust Bank at 9309 Krewstown Road about 10 minutes later, again by verbal threat.

In addition, Griffith robbed the ShopRite grocery store at 6301 Oxford Ave. that summer. ••