A Carey man waived indictment and pleaded guilty to a bill of information Tuesday afternoon for the Jan. 14 robbery of The First Citizens National Bank in Carey.
Chad E. Gossman, 38, faces up to three years in prison for the third-degree felony and a maximum possible fine of $10,000, Wyandot County Common Pleas Court Judge Kate Aubry said.
Gossman admitted he entered the bank, located at 129 E. Findlay St., demanded cash and kept one of his hands inside a hoodie’s front pocket — a move Wyandot County Prosecuting Attorney Jonathan Miller said suggested Gossman had a weapon.
According to the bill of information, Gossman recklessly used or threatened to use force against a female victim in attempting or attempting to commit a theft offense, constituting robbery.
A teller from the bank reported a robbery involving a possibly armed suspect at about 10:30 a.m. Jan. 14, according to the Carey Police Department, which investigated the case with assistance from the Wyandot County Sheriff’s Office, the Wyandot County Prosecutor’s Office, the Ohio State Highway Patrol, the Bureau of Criminal Identification and Investigation, which processed the scene, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation, as the bank is part of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation.
When Aubry asked the defendant to describe the circumstances that led to the charge, Gossman said he has struggled with a “drug problem” almost his entire life.
“(On Jan. 13), we were told we were going to be evicted from our apartment,” Gossman said of himself, his wife and their two children. “ … (Gossman’s wife) said that if I couldn’t get rent taken care of, we had to be out of the place in two days. She was going to take the children and move to Columbus with her sister because that’s the only place they had to go.
“I just didn’t want to lose my family. I made a very bad decision and I’m very sorry.”
Bond was revoked in the case and Gossman was taken to the Wyandot County Jail, despite attorney Scott Johnson asking that bond be transferred from Upper Sandusky Municipal Court.
Johnson said Gossman posted bond in municipal court.
“Now he is convicted of robbery and not just accused,” Aubry said, adding the circumstances require her to revoke bond in the case.
According to a representative at Upper Sandusky Municipal Court, Gossman’s initial appearance in that court was Jan. 15 and bond was set at $50,000 cash or surety.
The state recommended Gossman receive the maximum sentence of 36 months, according to the plea agreement. Assuming no major infractions while in prison, the state will not oppose release to a community-based correctional facility, but will defer to the court as to the timing.
The plea says restitution in the amount of $140 will be paid to FCNB.
The hearing was the second time bank representatives have been in court in the past eight months. On June 10, former employee Chanel N. Caneza was sentenced to 180 days in jail and two years of community control for grand theft after she admitted to stealing more than $11,000 from the FCNB main branch in Upper Sandusky while she was employed there.
By ALISSA PAOLELLA