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'He had a history of robbing banks' | Man sentenced to life in prison for Falls Co. robbery after serving 30 years in Florida

Ronald James Bryant had a previous sentence of 30 years from a federal court for an armed robbery with hostages in Florida.

MARLIN, Texas — Ronald James Bryant, 63, was sentenced to life in prison and charged with a $10,000 fine Thursday after being found guilty of aggravated bank robbery in Falls County. 

On April 30, 2019, Bryant entered the BBVA Compass bank in Marlin disguised in an orange hoody with long hair extensions tucked under a ballcap, sunglasses and large bag over his shoulder.  

"He walked into the bank and went straight into the teller. He pulled out what she believed at that time to be a real firearm, a real handgun, pointed it at her and told her to put the money in the bag," Jody Gilliam said, the Falls County district attorney. 

RELATED: Marlin bank robber arrested, Falls County Sheriff says

Investigators later discovered it was a BB gun. Bryant walked away with $7,000 and was arrested a few hours later. 

Bryant had committed crimes like this before. 

"He had a history of robbing banks. He robbed multiple banks in the state of Florida," Gilliam said.

Authorities said Bryant had a previous sentence of 30 years from a federal court for an armed robbery with hostages in Florida.

"When he paroled out of Florida, the lady he had been in a relationship with prior to being put in a federal penitentiary was here in Falls County so he paroled out and came to this county," Gilliam said. "He was only out a little over a year before he went back to doing what he does, which is robbing banks."

Gilliam said the FBI and several agencies were part of the investigation. She said surveillance video from the nearby Sonic and H-E-B played a vital role in arresting Bryant and charging him with the crime. 

"All the law enforcement agencies in the county cooperated with one another, shared information and they did a great job in coordinating this and getting this robber apprehended," Gilliam said. 

Gilliam said Bryant's sentence should keep him behind bars for the rest of his life.