A Cumberland County man will be spending nearly the next half-century behind bars for his role in three armed bank robberies in 2014.

Acting U.S. Attorney Rachael Honig says 46-year-old Stephan Byrd of Vineland was convicted in April 2019 on three counts of bank robbery, two counts of using and brandishing a firearm in furtherance of bank robbery, one count of using and discharging a firearm in furtherance of bank robbery, and one count of being a felon in possession of a firearm.

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A judge imposed a 548-month prison sentence, which is just over 45 years, in Camden federal court on Tuesday.

Honig's office says on June 7, 2014, Byrd entered the Ocean City Home Bank branch in Mays Landing armed with a gun. He approached a bank teller, pointed a gun at employees, and stole over $5,500.

On July 19th of that year, Byrd entered Newfield National Bank in Vineland with Charles Sanders, who has already pleaded guilty to his role in this crime. Honig says, "Both Byrd and Sanders were armed with guns and covered up from head to toe. Sanders remained in the lobby of the bank while Byrd vaulted the bank counters to gain access to the bank tellers and cash drawers. Byrd pointed his gun at various bank employees and stole $10,297 from the bank drawers." In this robbery, dye packs that were with the stolen money exploded.

Just two days later, authorities say Byrd entered Newfield National Bank in Malaga armed with a gun. He again pointed a gun at bank tellers, stole over $6,100, and ran into the nearby woods. Here, a bank customer attempted to follow Byrd but when that person was noticed, Byrd fired a shot in the customer’s direction.

In addition to the prison term, Judge Kugler sentenced Byrd to five years of supervised release and ordered him to pay restitution of $23,807.

NJ teachers and educators caught in sex crime busts

Over the past few years, state lawmakers have taken on the challenge of dealing with accused child predators among the ranks of teachers and educators.

In 2018, the so-called “pass the trash” law went into effect, requiring stricter New Jersey school background checks related to child abuse and sexual misconduct.

The follow individuals were arrested over the past several years. Some have been convicted and sentenced to prison, while others have accepted plea deals for probation.

Others cases are still pending, including some court delays amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

New Jersey's most disgraceful child predators and accused predators