NEW CUMBERLAND, W.Va. - Local authorities will be extraditing a teenage girl wanted in connection with a New Cumberland bank robbery and now sitting in a North Carolina jail.
Neredia Jade Marie Ferrer, 19, has been charged with being an accessory to bank robbery for her alleged role in the Feb. 19 robbery of the Hancock County Savings Bank in New Cumberland.
She and her boyfriend, Russell F. Culbreth, 34, were taken into custody on Tuesday in Fayetteville, N.C., after Culbreth allegedly robbed a bank there. The arrests ended what authorities described as a string of bank robberies stretching across three states - West Virginia, Virginia and North Carolina.
Hancock County Sheriff Ralph Fletcher said Culbreth confessed to all three robberies and is being held in Cumberland County Jail on a $25,000 bond. He likely will be tried for the Fayetteville robbery first, said Hancock County Prosecutor Jim Davis.
"It's possible that they'll dispose of their case down there before we see him," Davis said.
Authorities had been looking for Culbreth and Ferrer since Feb. 19, when Culbreth is alleged to have robbed the New Cumberland bank and left with an undisclosed amount of money. Ferrer is accused of being an accessory after the fact, meaning she likely helped Culbreth hide or escape, Fletcher said.
On Monday, sheriff's Detective Matt Harvey and New Cumberland police Lt. Jeremy Krzys received word that there had been a bank robbery in Prince William County, Va., on Saturday. Police investigated "suspicious activity" at a nearby hotel and found documents identifying Culbreth, Fletcher said.
Virginia authorities contacted the FBI in Wheeling after learning about the New Cumberland robbery through the National Crime Information Center, Fletcher said. "They ran (Culbreth's) name through the NCIC database, and our warrants popped up," he said.
Then, on Tuesday, police in Fayetteville, N.C., respond to a robbery at the Carter Bank and Trust. Culbreth and another man - later identified as Louis Joseph Spano, 30, of Fayetteville-fled the scene in a black Pontiac Grand Am and crashed it into a fence about three miles from the bank, Fletcher said.
The two fled on foot, and police were able to capture them a short time later, but not before a nearby elementary school had to be put on lockdown as a precaution, according to reports.
Information obtained from Culbreth led to the whereabouts of Ferrer, who is not believed to have been involved with the other robberies, Fletcher said.
Ferrer, who is from the New Cumberland area, also is being held in the Cumberland County Jail. If she waives extradition, local authorities will be able to bring her back soon, Davis said.
If she does not waive extradition, local authorities would have to obtain a governor's warrant to bring her back to Hancock County, Davis said. A hearing would have to be held in Fayetteville determining that she is the one who is wanted on the Hancock County charge.
Davis said his office would have 180 days to get the governor's warrant if Ferrer does not waive extradition. "She's coming back here because there's no charges against her in either Virginia or North Carolina," he said.
As for Culbreth, he probably won't be coming back to Hancock County anytime soon, Davis said. "He would be tried (in North Carolina) first. I wouldn't let him go," he said.