A 65-year-old Portland man was sentenced Wednesday to serve more than 16 years in prison for his role in two bank robberies last year.

Neil West Sr. was the getaway driver in the September 2015 robberies of the University Credit Union in Portland and TD Bank in Lewiston, said U.S. Attorney Thomas E. Delahanty II. At the time, West was on supervised federal release for his involvement in a bank robbery in 2013.

The TD Bank robbery was followed by a high-speed chase that ended in Saco, where West and an accomplice were arrested.

Chief Judge Nancy Torresen said the robberies “caused great emotional harm to tellers and customers and put people at risk.” She also pointed to West’s long criminal record and his “extremely reckless driving through residential neighborhoods at high rates of speed.”

Two of his accomplices in those robberies have already been convicted and sentenced. Joseph Richards, 46, of Manchester, New Hampshire, was sentenced to 15 years in prison. Crystal Dufault, 33, also of Manchester, was sentenced to three years.

West was sentenced in U.S. District Court in Portland to 14½ years in prison and five years of supervised release for armed bank robbery and conspiracy to commit bank robbery. He was convicted on the charges in July. He was ordered to serve an additional two years for violating terms of his release.


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