OFFICE OF THE UNITED STATES ATTORNEY
WESTERN DISTRICT OF MISSOURI
Contact Don Ledford, Public Affairs ● (816) 426-4220 ● 400 East Ninth Street, Room 5510 ● Kansas City, MO 64106
FEBRUARY 9, 2010
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
COLUMBIA MAN PLEADS GUILTY TO ARMED BANK ROBBERIES
SERIES OF ARMED ROBBERIES CULMINATED
IN SHOOT-OUT WITH OFFICERS
KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Beth Phillips, United States Attorney for the Western District of Missouri, announced that a Columbia, Mo., man pleaded guilty in federal court today to his role in a series of armed bank robberies that culminated in a vehicle pursuit and shoot-out with law enforcement officers.
Michael A. Leak, 19, of Columbia, pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Scott O. Wright this morning to the charges contained in an Aug. 5, 2009, federal indictment.
Leak pleaded guilty to two counts of aiding and abetting another person in two armed bank robberies. Leak also pleaded guilty to one count of aiding and abetting the use of a firearm during a crime of violence.
Leak admitted that he drove the get-away vehicle, a Buick LeSabre, during the July 2, 2009, armed robbery of the Bank of Brookfield in Winigan, Mo. Leak also admitted that he drove the get-away vehicle during the July 8, 2009, armed robbery of F and C Bank in Holden, Mo.
According to affidavits filed in support of the original criminal complaints, the LeSabre was spotted approximately three miles east of the F and C Bank by a deputy sheriff with the Johnson County, Mo., Sheriff’s Department. The deputy attempted to stop the vehicle by activating his lights and sirens. At that time, the affidavit says, an occupant of the get-away vehicle fired multiple shots from a rifle at the deputy, striking his vehicle multiple times. Both the deputy and the Chief of Police for the Holden, Mo., Police Department continued to pursue the vehicle. During the pursuit, while the vehicles were moving, an occupant of the get-away vehicle allegedly continued to shoot at the police chief, striking the police vehicle in the windshield and disabling the vehicle.
During a search for the robbers, the LeSabre was found engulfed in flames in Chilhowee, Mo. A flatbed pickup truck, stolen from a nearby home, was later located near Boonville, Mo., where it was partially submerged in the Missouri River.
Law enforcement officers located Leak in his room at Hotel Super 7 in Columbia the next day and placed him under arrest.
This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney D. Michael Green. It was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Johnson County, Mo., Sheriff’s Department, and the Holden, 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