DETROIT (WWJ) – A 31-year-old Detroit-area parolee will spend the next 44 years in federal prison in connection with in a string of violent crimes that occurred in 2011.

Raynard Versatile Crowe, formerly of Hazel Park, was sentenced Wednesday following his March conviction on charges of bank robbery, pharmacy robbery, using a firearm during a crime of violence, felon in possession of a firearm, and conspiracy.

“Violent criminals who use guns can expect to face long prison sentences. Armed robberies risk a loss of life that we cannot tolerate,” U.S. Attorney Barbara McQuade said in a statement.

According to evidence presented at trial, Crowe — who was on parole for assault with intent to rob while armed — conspired with six other people to commit armed robbery at a bank and pharmacy during the spring and summer of 2011.

Investigators say the crew robbed a Citizens Bank in Grosse Pointe Woods on May 18, 2011 and Ferndale Pharmacy on July 11, 2011. In the pharmacy incident, employees were bound with zip ties and pistol-whipped, the Macomb Daily reported.

Following the crimes, police say Crowe fled to Arizona. He was taken into custody in September 2011.

The case was investigated by Special Agents of the FBI, the Warren Police Department, the Ferndale Police Department and the Grosse Pointe Woods Department of Public Safety.

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