News and Press Releases

Wichita Man Pleads Guilty
To Helping His Brother Rob Bank



Oct. 22, 2012

WICHITA, KAN. – A Wichita man has pleaded guilty to helping his brother rob a bank, U.S. Attorney Barry Grissom said today.

Justin W. Cooper, 24, Wichita, Kan., has pleaded guilty to aiding and abetting bank robbery. In his plea, Cooper admitted that on March 16, 2012, he drove his brother, Lessie Cooper, to the Commerce Bank branch at 1701 S. Broadway in Wichita. Lessie Cooper went into the bank, jumped the counter and pointed a 9 mm carbine rifle at tellers. As Lessie Cooper was getting back in the car with the stolen money, dye packs exploded, surrounding him in a red mist. A nearby Wichita police officer saw the dye packs explode.

The officer chased the Coopers’ car to the intersection of Clark and Silver. Justin Cooper surrendered on the spot. Lessie Cooper ran through a residential neighborhood and hid in a residence at 2131 S. Silver. Police found him hiding under a bed at the residence and arrested him.

Justin Cooper is set for sentencing Jan. 7. He faces a maximum penalty of 20 years and a fine up to $250,000.

Co-defendant Lessie Cooper was sentenced to 160 months in federal prison.

Grissom commended the Wichita Police Department, the FBI and Assistant U.S. Attorney Matt Treaster for their work on the case.


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