News and Press Releases

kC woman, man indicted for armed bank robbery

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
December 13, 2011

KANSAS CITY, Mo. - Beth Phillips, United States Attorney for the Western District of Missouri, announced that a Kansas City, Mo., woman and man were indicted by a federal grand jury today for the armed robbery of Clay County Savings Bank in Smithville, Mo.

Ericka Y. Jones, 28, and James A. Griffin, 19, both of Kansas City, were charged in a two-count indictment returned by a federal grand jury in Kansas City. Today’s indictment replaces a federal criminal complaint that was filed against Jones and Griffin on Dec. 1, 2011.

Today’s indictment alleges that Jones and Griffin stole $9,172 at gunpoint from Clay County Savings Bank, 1101 S. U.S. Highway 169, Smithville, Mo., on Nov. 28, 2011. Jones and Griffin are also charged together with one count of using a firearm in a crime of violence.

According to an affidavit filed in support of the original criminal complaint, Jones and Griffin entered the bank together at approximately 12:55 p.m. on Nov. 28, 2011. When they approached the teller counter, the affidavit says, Griffin pointed a small revolver at a teller and demanded money. The teller placed her drawer on the counter. Jones and Griffin both allegedly removed money from the teller drawer and put it in their pockets. They likewise took money from the drawer of another teller, the affidavit says, then fled from the bank in a light blue Dodge minivan.

On Nov. 30, 2011, a confidential source alerted law enforcement that Jones and Griffin were at a Foot Locker store late in the afternoon on the day of the bank robbery; they used approximately $900 in $20 bills to purchase clothing and shoes. According to the affidavit, Jones returned to the store the next day to return merchandise, at which time she furnished her name, address and phone number. The confidential source reviewed surveillance photos from the bank robbery and identified Jones and Griffin, the affidavit says, as well as identifying the license plates of Jones’s vehicle, which matched the description of the vehicle used in the bank robbery.

Law enforcement investigators traced the vehicle’s license plates to the residence of Jones and Griffin, the affidavit says, and she was arrested the same day. Griffin self-surrendered to law enforcement the next day.

Phillips cautioned that the charges contained in this indictment are simply accusations, and not evidence of guilt. Evidence supporting the charges must be presented to a federal trial jury, whose duty is to determine guilt or innocence.

This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney D. Michael Green. It was investigated by the FBI, the Clay County, Mo., Sheriff’s Department and the Smithville, Mo., Police Department.

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