Decatur bank robbery investigation leads to drug trafficking charges for Gadsden man

Edward Elijah Brown (Photo: Decatur Police Department)

DECATUR, Ala. – A Gadsden man has been charged in connection to a bank robbery on June 25 at Bank Independent on Highway 31 in Decatur.

Authorities say employees of the bank reported that a man wearing a bandana and sunglasses had entered the business and used a handgun to force one of the employees behind the counter to give him money. Authorities say the robber then took an undisclosed amount of money and fled the area.

Investigators say Edward Elijah Brown was developed as their primary suspect in the crime. Detectives with the Decatur Police Department, the FBI, and investigators with the Etowah County Drug Task Force met on July 2 to form a plan of action.

Members of the Etowah County Joint Special Operations Group (JSOG), the FBI, and the Decatur Police Department executed a search warrant at Brown’s residence in Gadsden on July 3.

Authorities discovered around 2 lbs of synthetic marijuana and an AK-47 rifle during the search. Brown and two other people were taken into custody.

Brown is charged with trafficking in synthetic cannabinoids and is being held on a $100,000 bond. If Brown bonds out of the Etowah County Jail, he will be extradited to the Morgan County Jail to face a first-degree robbery charge from the Decatur Police Department. Bond has not been set for the robbery charge.

This is still an ongoing investigation and more charges are expected to be filed, including federal charges.