OFFICE OF THE UNITED STATES ATTORNEY
WESTERN DISTRICT OF MISSOURI
MATT J. WHITWORTH
Contact Don Ledford, Public Affairs ● (816) 426-4220 ● 400 East Ninth Street, Room 5510 ● Kansas City, MO 64106
SEPTEMBER 3, 2009
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
KCK MAN SENTENCED TO 66 YEARS IN PRISON
FOR THREE ARMED BANK ROBBERIES
KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Matt J. Whitworth, Acting United States Attorney for the Western District of Missouri, announced that a Kansas City, Kan., man was sentenced in federal court today for three armed bank robberies in Gladstone, Mo., Independence, Mo., and Kansas City, Mo.
Wyatt J. Ellison, 36, of Kansas City, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Dean Whipple this afternoon to 66 years in federal prison without parole. Ellison was sentenced to nine years for three armed robbery counts – the maximum sentence under the federal sentencing guidelines – plus 57 years, to be served consecutively, for using and brandishing a firearm during each robbery. The court also ordered Ellison to pay $91,682 in restitution.
On May 1, 2009, Ellison was convicted by a trial jury of three counts of armed bank robbery and three counts of using a firearm in the commission of a violent crime. Ellison is one of three defendants charged in a Aug. 19, 2008, superseding indictment. Co-defendants Luis Rodriguez, 45, and Charles Williams, 45, both of Kansas City, Mo., pleaded guilty to aiding and abetting armed bank robbery. Rodriguez and Williams each admitted that they drove getaway cars for Ellison during the bank robberies.
Rodriguez was sentenced this afternoon to two years and six months in federal prison without parole. Williams was sentenced on Aug. 12, 2008, to four years and nine months in federal prison without parole. The court also ordered both Williams and Rodriguez to pay $91,682 in restitution.
Ellison stole $40,255 from Commerce Bank, 6334 NE Antioch, Gladstone, on Nov. 24, 2007. Just before Ellison entered the bank, Williams – who was driving the getaway car – called Rodriguez. Rodriguez then called 911 to falsely report a robbery at another bank, in order to divert the police response away from Commerce Bank. Ellison, carrying a handgun, jumped over the teller counter and ordered several tellers to place money inside a canvas bag. After obtaining the money, he jumped back over the teller counter and left the bank.
Ellison stole $46,854 from First National Bank of Missouri, 10801 E. 23rd St., Independence, on Jan. 12, 2008. Ellison, wearing a blue ski mask, jumped over the teller counter and pointed a handgun at the tellers. He ordered them to give him all the money from the drawers, which they placed in the pillowcase he was carrying. Rodriguez drove Ellison to the bank in a stolen car and waited in the parking lot until after the robbery, then drove Ellison away from the bank.
Ellison stole $4,573 from US Bank, 11204 Holmes Rd., Kansas City, on April 1, 2008. Ellison jumped onto the counter and pointed his gun at one of the tellers. He ordered her to empty her drawer and give him the money, then move to the other drawers and give him that money as well. About half an hour after the robbery, police officers received information that the individuals responsible for the bank robbery were located at the Longfellow Apartments at 26th and Harrison. Ellison, Rodriguez and Williams were contacted when they left a vacant apartment unit and attempted to leave the building. Williams was a maintenance worker at the apartment complex, where Ellison had formerly worked.
This case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Christina Y. Tabor and Executive Assistant U.S. Attorney Daniel M. Nelson. It was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Kansas City, Mo., Police Department, the Independence, Mo., Police Department and the Gladstone, Mo., Police Department.
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