After serving nearly 10 years in federal prison for bank robbery, Geoffrey Logan Rogers was released Dec. 23, 2005. He then spent a few months working in his native Paducah, Ky., as a tattoo artist.
BUT QUICKER than you could say, "Look at those cool tattoos," he'd come to Virginia and returned to his previous profession: bank robbery — and just three months after becoming a free man.
In quick succession, Rogers knocked off a trio of banks in Fair Lakes and Chantilly and, a couple weeks later, he was back behind bars. Last week in Fairfax County Circuit Court, he pleaded guilty to all three crimes.
Seemingly calm and unruffled, the silver-haired man, now 43, stood and answered a series of questions from Judge Jane Roush. Both his forearms were covered with tattoos, and he wore the neon-orange jumpsuit of a Loudoun County prisoner since he's awaiting trials there for two other bank robberies in that county.
"Do you understand these are felonies you're pleading guilty to?" asked Roush. "Yes, I understand," replied Rogers. "Are you entering your pleas of guilty freely and voluntarily and because you are, indeed, guilty?" asked the judge. "Yes, I am," he said.
"Do you understand that, by pleading guilty, you're giving up your right to a trial by jury and to confront and cross-examine witnesses?" asked Roush. "Yes," answered Rogers.
HE ALSO admitted that, at the time of the robberies, he was out on parole from his previous crime. (He was convicted Dec. 2, 1994 for a bank robbery in southern Florida). So the judge warned him that, as a result of these new convictions, that parole may be revoked.
Roush also noted that there's no plea agreement in his case, except that his sentencing guidelines will be calculated for robberies without the use of a weapon. And she also made sure Rogers understood that the range of punishment for each of his three offenses is five years to life in prison.
Then came a final question. "Do you understand that, by entering these pleas, you're giving up your right to appeal the decision of the court?" asked the judge. Again, Rogers said, "Yes, I do," and Roush accepted his pleas.
Assistant Commonwealth's Attorney Ian Rodway then told what the prosecution's evidence would have been, had these cases gone to trial. He said 2006 bank robberies occurred as follows:
* March 17 - 10:30 a.m., United Bank, 13060 Fair Lakes Shopping Center in Fairfax.
* March 28 - 1:44 p.m., BB&T Bank, 13821 Lee Jackson Memorial Hwy. in Chantilly.
* March 30 - 10:30 a.m., Virginia Commerce Bank, 13881 Metrotech Drive in Chantilly.
"The defendant also apparently robbed two banks in Loudoun County on March 30," said Rodway.
Indeed, Rogers and co-defendant Ronald Michael Young, 35, of Manassas, were both charged with the Fairfax County bank robberies, as well as with the heists at the BB&T Bank in Ashburn and the Provident Bank in Sterling. Fairfax police believe Rogers did the actual robbing and Young drove the getaway car.
AFTER THE CRIME SPREE, said Rodway, "Fairfax and Loudoun authorities discovered [Rogers] was in the Prince William County Jail. So on April 22, , they went to that jail. And after being read his Miranda rights, he admitted robbing all five banks."
After the robberies occurred, police released bank surveillance photos of the robber, and people immediately noticed how fierce he looked. But in court last Wednesday, Feb. 28, Rodway told why.
Said the prosecutor: "At one point, when Rogers was asked why he looked so angry in the surveillance photos, he answered, 'When you're robbing a bank without a gun, obviously, you need to show intimidation.'"
"Did he tell any of the tellers he had a gun?" asked Judge Roush. "No," said Rodway. "But by his body language, the tellers were intimidated."
Roush then found Rogers guilty as charged and set his sentencing for March 16.