News and Press Releases

Peter Michael Thompson Pleads Guilty in U.S. Federal Cour

Friday, July 31, 2009

Bill Mercer, United States Attorney for the District of Montana, announced today that during a federal court session in Missoula on July 31, 2009, before U.S. Magistrate Judge Jeremiah C. Lynch, PETER MICHAEL THOMPSON, a 24-year-old resident of Missoula, pled guilty to robbery and possession and discharge of a firearm during a crime of violence. Sentencing is set for November 6, 2009. He is currently detained.

In an Offer of Proof filed by Assistant U.S. Attorney Timothy J. Racicot, the government stated it would have proved at trial the following:

On January 12, 2009, at approximately 10:18 a.m., THOMPSON entered the Missoula Federal Credit Union in Missoula, pointed a rifle at the ceiling, fired one shot, and shouted, "Get down." THOMPSON then walked behind the teller counter and ordered the tellers to empty the cash drawers. The tellers gave THOMPSON approximately $11,245.50. THOMPSON walked out from behind the counter and said something along the lines of, "Call the cops and do what you need to do. Have a nice day."

Just moments after the robbery occurred, a witness observed THOMPSON wearing a ski mask in the driver's seat of a older model blue Mazda pickup truck in the K-Mart parking lot adjacent to the Missoula Federal Credit Union. THOMPSON pulled off his ski mask and the witness suspected that he had just robbed the credit union. The witness followed THOMPSON for a few minutes and obtained a partial license plate number.

A Missoula County Sheriff's deputy located THOMPSON'S blue Mazda pickup and attempted to effect a traffic stop. THOMPSON sped off at a high rate of speed, but ran off the road in the 9900 block of Upper Miller Creek Road. The deputy got out of his car with a rifle and heard a gunshot from inside THOMPSON'S truck. The deputy fired three shots toward THOMPSON'S truck. THOMPSON was then taken into custody and received emergency medical attention for a gunshot wound to his face. Money stolen by THOMPSON during the robbery was recovered from his pickup.

THOMPSON faces possible penalties of 20 years in prison, a $250,000 fine and 3 years supervised release. In addition, THOMPSON faces the possibility of an additional mandatory 10 year imprisonment, consecutive to any other sentence, for the use of a firearm during the commission of a crime of violence.

The investigation was a cooperative effort between the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Missoula Police Department, and the Missoula County Sheriff's Office.

A copy of the Offer of Proof can be obtained by contacting Sally Frank at (406) 247-4638.



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