5 men federally charged in Cleveland Heights bank robberies

CLEVELAND - Five men have been federally charged following two bank robberies in Cleveland Heights late last year.

Lavontrae Melvin Durden, 19, of Cleveland, and Nathaniel Antoine Wright, 18, of Cleveland Heights, were charged with armed bank robbery and brandishing a firearm; and Lovell L. Briggs, 18, of Cleveland was charged with conspiracy and aiding and abetting for the Nov. 22 robbery at the Ohio Savings Bank at 2066 Lee Road. 

Rodney E. Johnson, 21, and Nautica Merritt, 20, both of Cleveland, were charged with armed bank robbery for the Dec. 7 robbery at the Fifth Third Bank at 12401 Cedar Road. Johnson was also charged with brandishing a firearm.

“These five individuals put everyday citizens in danger with their aggressive and violent actions,” Special Agent in Charge of the FBI's Cleveland Office Stephen D. Anthony said. “This crew is off our streets through the collaborative efforts of the FBI Violent Crimes Task Force and the Cleveland Heights Police Department. The investigation continues to determine the full extent of their criminal activity.”


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