Orlando, Florida – U.S. District Judge Wendy W. Berger today sentenced John Armstrong (32, North Fort Myers) to 35 years in federal prison for two bank robberies, an attempted bank robbery, a Hobbs Act robbery, and three counts of brandishing a firearm during a crime of violence.
Armstrong had pleaded guilty on September 22, 2020. Armstrong’s co-defendants, Tanya Legg (45, North Fort Myers) and Daniel Zirk (24, Spring Hill), also previously pleaded guilty and were sentenced in December 2020 for their roles in this.
According to court documents, on June 14, 2019, Armstrong used a firearm to rob a 7-Eleven convenience store in North Fort Myers. During this robbery, Armstrong struck one of the store employees in the face with his firearm. On July 31, 2019, Armstrong used a firearm to rob a Bank OZK in Punta Gorda, stealing more than $151,000 from the bank’s vault.
On September 25, 2019, Armstrong and Zirk attempted to commit an armed robbery of a PNC Bank in Davenport. Zirk carjacked two vehicles earlier that morning, holding the victims at gunpoint. Armstrong and Zirk later used one of the carjacked vehicles as a getaway car following the attempted PNC Bank robbery. The robbery failed after the bank’s alarm went off. The following day, Armstrong, Zirk, and Legg robbed a BB&T Bank in Altamonte Springs, during which Armstrong and Zirk threatened to kill the bank employees and used firearms to force the employees to open the bank’s vault. They then stole approximately $22,000 in cash from the vault. Legg helped plan and purchase supplies for the BB&T Bank robbery and the attempted PNC Bank robbery. She also served as the getaway driver for these two robberies.
On December 9, 2020, Legg was sentenced to 14 years’ imprisonment for her role in this case. Zirk was sentenced on December 16, 2020, to 22 years and 4 months in prison for his role in the case.
This case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, with assistance from the Altamonte Springs Police Department, the Fort Myers Police Department, the Hernando County Sheriff’s Office, the Lee County Sheriff’s Office, the Orange County Sheriff’s Office, the Orlando Police Department, the Osceola County Sheriff’s Office, the Pasco Sheriff’s Office, the Punta Gorda Police Department, the Seminole County Sheriff’s Office, and the Tampa Police Department. It was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Chauncey A. Bratt and Amanda Daniels.