Bank robbery suspects detained

NEW CUMBERLAND – After a string of bank robberies stretching across multiple states, Russell Culbreth, 34, and Neredia Jade Marie Ferrer, 19, are now being detained in the Cumberland County jail in North Carolina.

Hancock County Sheriff Ralph Fletcher announced both arrests on Wednesday.

Culbreth, who Fletcher said confessed to three robberies in West Virginia, Virginia and North Carolina, entered the Hancock County Savings Bank in New Cumberland on Feb. 19 through the front door, allegedly presented a note to the cashier and took it and an undisclosed amount of money with him before fleeing the scene on foot.

Culbreth was arrested by Fayetteville, N.C., police on Tuesday along with another man, Louis Joseph Spano, 30, of North Carolina, believed to be a friend of Culbreth’s, in connection with the robbery of the Carter Bank & Trust branch. Culbreth and Spano reportedly fled the scene in the black two-door Pontiac Grand Am before crashing into a fence approximately three miles from the bank. The two fled on foot, and police were able to capture them a short time later.

Fletcher said Detective Matt Harvey and Lt. Jeremy Krzys of the New Cumberland Police Department received word on Monday that a bank in the Washington, D.C., area – the Burke and Herbert Bank in Prince William County, Va. – had been robbed and the description of the suspect and vehicle matched information previously released by Hancock County.

Reports indicated there was suspicious activity of individuals going in and out of a hotel window where police later found documents with Culbreth’s name, according to officials, which led them back to the Federal Bureau of Investigation offices in Wheeling through the National Crime Information Center.

“The Hancock County Sheriff’s Office and the New Cumberland Police Department have been in contact with the authorities in charge in both Virginia and North Carolina,” said Fletcher.

Culbreth is in the Cumberland County jail under $25,000 bond.

Ferrer, who is not believed at this time to be involved with the incidents in Virginia and North Carolina, was also taken into custody on the warrants out of Hancock County and is awaiting extradition, according to Hancock County Prosecutor Jim Davis. He said he will be coordinating with agents in charge of the cases in both Virginia and North Carolina, as well as U.S. Attorney William Ihlenfeld for future prosecution.