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NEWS RELEASE

OFFICE OF THE UNITED STATES ATTORNEY

WESTERN DISTRICT OF MISSOURI


JOHN F. WOOD


Contact Don Ledford, Public Affairs ● (816) 426-4220 ● 400 East Ninth Street, Room 5510 ● Kansas City, MO 64106

www.usdoj.gov/usao/mow/index.html


JANUARY 15, 2008

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE


KANSAS MAN SENTENCED FOR BANK ROBBERIES


            KANSAS CITY, Mo. – John F. Wood, United States Attorney for the Western District of Missouri, announced that a Leavenworth, Kan., man was sentenced in federal court today for participating in a conspiracy that involved a series of bank robberies in the Northland and in Kansas.


             Christopher C. Pinkston, 28, of Leavenworth, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Howard F. Sachs this morning to12 years and seven months in federal prison without parole. The court also ordered Pinkston to pay $28,050 in restitution.


            On May 3, 2007, Pinkston pleaded guilty to participating in a conspiracy to commit bank robberies from Sept. 15 to Nov. 24, 2006. Pinkston also pleaded guilty to stealing $1,226 from Enterprise Bank and Trust on Nov. 24, 2006, and to stealing $15,000 from National Bank of Kansas City on Oct. 27, 2006. Both banks are located in Platte County, Mo. In both instances, Pinkston admitted, he used a robbery demand note.


             Pinkston also pleaded guilty to a federal charge from the District of Kansas, admitting that he stole $5,000 from UMB Bank in Olathe, Kan., by using a robbery demand note on Oct. 20, 2006.


            Pinkston is the final defendant to be sentenced among four co-defendants who were indicted on Dec. 5, 2006.


            Nakia Gross, 31, of Leavenworth, was sentenced on Nov. 20, 2007, to three years and four months in federal prison without parole. Gross pleaded guilty on May 31, 2007, to the bank robbery conspiracy, as well as the Enterprise Bank and Trust robbery and the National Bank of Kansas City robbery. Gross also pleaded guilty to a federal charge from the District of Kansas, admitting that she stole $1,798 from Bank Midwest in Shawnee, Kan., on Sept. 15, 2006. In each of those robberies, Gross admitted, she served as the lookout and getaway driver.


             Dan W. Russell, 41, of Atlanta, Ga., was sentenced on Aug. 17, 2007, to three years and one month in federal prison without parole. On April 20, 2007, Russell pleaded guilty to the charges contained in two separate federal indictments. Russell admitted that he participated with Pinkston in the Enterprise Bank and Trust robbery on Nov. 24, 2006. Russell also pleaded guilty to a federal charge from the District of Kansas, admitting that, on the same day, he attempted to rob the Bank of Atchison in Atchison, Kan.


            Kevin W. Vinson, 21, of Leavenworth, was sentenced on Aug. 21, 2007, to two years in federal prison without parole. Vinson pleaded guilty on April 12, 2007, to stealing $1,454 from U.S. Bank in St. Joseph, Mo., on Oct. 10, 2006.


            This case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney K. Michael Warner. It was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the St. Joseph, Mo., Police Department, the Kansas City, Mo., Police Department, the Platte County, Mo., Sheriff’s Department, and the Missouri State Highway Patrol.


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This news release, as well as additional information about the office of the United States Attorney for the Western District of Missouri, is available on-line at

www.usdoj.gov/usao/mow/index.html