BANK ROBBERS SENTENCED
MARQUETTE, MICHIGAN – U.S. Attorney Donald A. Davis announced that Jacob Johnston, age 20, a resident of Gladstone, Michigan, was sentenced to 40 months in federal prison for aiding and abetting Carl Alphonso Crane III in the armed robbery of Great Lakes First Federal Credit Union in Rapid River on January 19, 2011. U.S. District Judge R. Allan Edgar, who conducted the sentencing hearing in Marquette, also sentenced Johnston to 4 years of federal supervised release after his prison term is complete.
In addition, Judge Edgar sentenced William Howard Kenealy, age 56, a resident of Ontonagon, Michigan to 45 months in prison for the armed robbery of the White Pine branch of Citizens State Bank of Ontonagon. Kenealy was also sentenced to 3 years of supervised release following the completion of his prison term.
Judge Edgar was also scheduled to sentence David Ryan Lemon for the armed robbery of the First National Bank and Trust Company of Iron Mountain on August 5, 2010. Lemon’s sentencing was delayed pending the outcome of a psychiatric examination to determine his competency.
Johnston was apprehended as a result of an investigation by the FBI, Escanaba Department of Public Safety, and the Michigan State Police following the robbery of the Great Lakes First Federal Credit Union. The investigation showed that Crane entered the credit union, brandished what appeared to be a handgun, and demanded money from the three tellers on duty in the credit union. Although Crane was wearing a ski mask, he was soon identified as a suspect. Law enforcement officers then learned that Crane was using some of the money from the robbery. Crane was found hiding at his father’s house and arrested. He subsequently confessed his role in the robbery and explained that Jacob John Johnston had been his accomplice. Law enforcement officers then located, questioned and arrested Johnston, who admitted helping Crane by obtaining an “airsoft” gun for him, driving him to the Credit Union, and then driving him away from the scene of the crime.
“Airsoft” guns have the appearance of an actual firearm, but fire plastic pellets at low muzzle velocities. Because these guns may look like actual firearms, their use in a robbery
qualifies as “armed” robbery.
In July, Judge Edgar sentenced Crane to 66 months in prison, followed by 4 years of supervised release.
Kenealy was apprehended as a result of an investigation by the FBI, the Michigan State Police, and local law enforcement. This investigation showed that Kenealy entered the White Pine branch of the Citizens State Bank of Ontonagan, told tellers that he had a gun, and demanded money. Kenealy showed the tellers the butt of what appeared to be a handgun stuck in his belt. Further investigation revealed that Kenealy actually had a large knife stuck in his belt. Two alert citizens made substantial contributions to this investigation. First, a citizen recognized the robbery in progress and confronted robber when he left the bank. A second citizen then followed the robber out of the mall and alertly recognized the truck the robber was driving to make his get-away. This citizen then notified the Michigan State Police of the location of the get-away vehicle. This information led directly to Kenealy’s arrest and confession.
Crane, Johnston, Lemon and Kenealy were prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Maarten Vermaat.