Man arrested in connection with 2006 family-affair bank robbery on Lady's Island

Ragland, Charles
Ragland, Charles

A Savannah man was arrested Thursday for allegedly robbing a Lady's Island bank as a teenager in 2006, part of a string of area bank robberies that also involved his brother and his uncles.

Charles Edward Ragland, 19, is accused of being one of two armed men who robbed the S.C. Bank and Trust on Sea Island Parkway on July 3, 2006, said Beaufort County Sheriff's Office spokeswoman Sgt. Robin McIntosh.

Ragland was brought to Beaufort from a juvenile detention center in Georgia, where he was serving time after pleading guilty to robbing a Savannah SunTrust bank in June 2006 at age 16 with his brother, who was then 13 years old.

McIntosh deferred questions to the FBI, which handles all bank robbery investigations. FBI investigators could not be reached for comment Thursday.

Witnesses reported that two armed teenagers walked into the Lady's Island bank and threatened customers before leaving in a stolen car with an undisclosed amount of cash.

In September 2007, Joseph Earl Montgomery, of Savannah, now 23, pleaded guilty to being one of the robbers and was sentenced to 90 months in federal prison and three years of supervised release. He is being held at a maximum security prison in Inez, Ky., according to the U.S. Bureau of Corrections.

Ragland's uncle, George Simon of Hardeeville, was the getaway driver for the Lady's Island robbery. Another of Ragland's uncles, William Elwood Frazier, drove the getaway car in a robbery of a Wachovia bank on Bay Street in Beaufort a month earlier, according to federal indictments.

The indictments said investigators believe Montgomery and Ragland's 13-year-old brother, who is not named because he is not being charged as an adult, carried out the Bay Street robbery.

Simon and Frazier, the uncles, pleaded guilty to the charges, according to court records. Simon was released from federal prison in February, and Frazier is in federal prison in Jesup, Ga., according to the U.S. Bureau of Corrections.

Ragland faces up to 30 years in prison if convicted, according to state law. He was in the Beaufort County Detention Center awaiting a bond hearing Thursday, according to the county's jail log.