Phs Grad Sentenced To Nine Years For Robberies

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Former Payson resident, 25-year-old Benjamin G. Gartner was sentenced to nine years in prison for his role in three bank robberies last year, said Wyn Hornbuckle, public affairs officer with the U.S. Attorney's Office, District of Arizona.

Gartner pleaded guilty in February to charges stemming from the three robberies in Mesa and Gilbert, including armed bank robbery and using a firearm during the commission of a crime.

Hornbuckle said the Federal Bureau of Prisons will decide where Gartner will serve his sentence.

According to court documents, in April of 2006, Gartner brandished a firearm, which was a handgun, in the robbery of a Compass Bank in Gilbert. He took more than $2,000 in the robbery.

In May 2006, Gartner returned to the same bank and with a gun, again robbed three tellers of more than $7,000.

In July 2006, he took nearly $11,000 from an M and I Bank in Mesa, again using a gun in the robbery.

He was arrested in Mesa on July 14, 2006 after the third robbery, according to court documents.

Gartner is a 2000 graduate of Payson High School and is the son of former police chief, Gordon Gartner.

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