Man sentenced to 25 years in bank heists

A man who pleaded guilty to robbing banks in Forsyth, Barnesville, Dublin, Tifton and in two Florida cities has been sentenced to 25 years in federal prison.

Leonard William Willis, 45, was sentenced Thursday by Judge Hugh Lawson in the Middle District of Georgia, according to the U.S. attorney’s office.

The string of bank robberies began in February 2009 when Willis robbed three banks in Ormond Beach, Fla. In the following weeks, he robbed an additional seven banks before being arrested, according to a news release.

On March 4, 2009, Willis robbed the BB&T Bank in Forsyth and the United Bank in Barnesville. Lamar County deputies spotted him after the Barnesville heist, and he led authorities on a chase that ended on Interstate 75.