The honeymoon's over for a former Maryland couple who committed a spree of bank robberies in southcentral Pennsylvania shortly after getting hitched.
Jason Dixon and Shawnette Fleet confessed to robbing six banks -- including one in York Township -- in 2011, but their plea agreements with the U.S. Attorney's Office required them to plead guilty to only two counts of bank robbery, federal records state.
Last week, York County dropped bank robbery charges against the honeymoon bandits. That's because their cases were handled in federal court, prosecutors said.
Dixon, 45, is serving a 8-1/3-year sentence; Fleet, 44, is serving a 3-1/2-year sentence, federal records state. Each is responsible for paying half of the $112,107 restitution ordered in the case, records state.
Caught on I-83: York Area Regional officers spotted them Aug. 10, 2011, on Interstate 83, driving a vehicle sought in a Lancaster County bank robbery, police said. With help from state police and Southern Regional Police, the officers pulled over and arrested the couple.
Inside the car was a gun and a significant amount of cash, police said at the time.
After their arrests, charges began piling up as they were linked to more stickups.
Police said Dixon brandished a gun during the robberies. But when police arrested the pair and found the weapon, it turned out to be an unloaded BB gun, according to Richard Maffett Jr., Dixon's Harrisburg-based attorney.
Whirlwind romance: Fleet's Lancaster-based attorney, Jeff Conrad, blamed Dixon for the spree and said Fleet has learned her lesson.
"She lived a law-abiding life prior to this and I think she ... kind of got caught up in a whirlwind romance," Conrad said. "I think for anybody who is unsophisticated with crime and who gets associated with someone who is, trouble is ahead. And Mr. Dixon was certainly well-accustomed to the criminal element.
"I think he was trying to impress his new bride that he was a man of means," Conrad said.
Dixon's attorney has a different opinion.
"The whole thing was a tragedy and was driven, at least in my view, by Mr. Dixon's drug use," Maffett said.
Drug addiction: At the time of the robberies Dixon was addicted to both heroin and cocaine, and needed money to feed his addictions, his attorney said.
"The federal (prison) system has some pretty good drug treatment (programs) and he's hoping to be able to participate in them," Maffett said.
As for Fleet, Conrad said she wants to pay her debt to society and become a productive citizen again.
"She'll never darken the doorstep of a courtroom again," he said. "She got herself back on track with her walk with God and is someone the younger inmates can look up to."
The robberies: As part of their negotiated plea agreements, Dixon and Fleet each admitted to six bank holdups:
• March 10, 2011: American Community Federal Credit Union, 405 Wayne Ave. in Chambersburg, $11,000
• April 8, 2011: Wheatland Federal Credit Union, 555 Greenfield Road in Lancaster; $58,500
• May 10, 2011: Patriot Federal Credit Union, 140 S. Federal St. in Chambersburg, $33,907
• July 28, 2011: AmeriChoice Federal Credit Union, 1 Indian Rock Dam Road in York Township, $8,600
• Aug. 10, 2011: LANCO Federal Credit Union, 2024 W. Main St. in Mount Joy, $45,353
• Aug. 10, 2011: AmeriChoice Federal Credit Union, 433 S. 18th St. in Camp Hill, $2,700.
-- Staff writer Liz Evans Scolforo can also be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.