Ex-teller accused of stealing for drugs pleads innocent

GULFPORT — A Biloxi woman has pleaded not guilty to stealing $80,980 from a bank’s vault while she was employed as a vault teller.

The Sun Herald reports 29-year-old Ashley Ann Keel entered her plea yesterday in U.S. District Court in Gulfport. Her trial is set for Dec. 3.

Magistrate Judge Robert H. Walker ordered her held without bond Sept. 26. A grand jury indicted her Oct. 16 on a charge of embezzlement by a bank employee.

Keel was working at Hancock Bank’s Cedar Lake branch in Biloxi on Aug. 10 when an FBI agent confronted her. She told the agent she didn’t know how much money she had stolen, and blamed the theft on her addiction to oxycodone.

The judge Thursday decided Keel should remain in custody pending trial.

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