News and Press Releases

fulton man sentenced to 30 years in prison for armed bank robberies;
Series of armed robberies culminated in shoot-out with officers

August 26, 2010

KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Beth Phillips, United States Attorney for the Western District of Missouri, announced that a Fulton, Mo., man was sentenced in federal court today for his role in a series of armed bank robberies that culminated in a vehicle pursuit and shoot-out with law enforcement officers.

William Alan Wolfe, 29, of Fulton, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Scott O. Wright to 30 years in federal prison without parole. The court also ordered Wolfe to pay $42,322 in restitution to the banks.

On April 21, 2010, Wolfe pleaded guilty to two counts of armed robbery and one count of using a firearm during a crime of violence.

Co-defendant Michael A. Leak, 20, of Columbia, was sentenced on June 16, 2010, to 15 years and one month in federal prison without parole. Leak pleaded guilty on Feb. 9, 2010, to two counts of aiding and abetting another person in 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 is jointly and severally liable for the $42,322 in restitution.

Wolfe admitted that he stole $25,561 at gunpoint from the Bank of Brookfield in Winigan, Mo., on July 2, 2009. Wolfe pointed a semi-automatic pistol at a teller and demanded that she give him money. Leak admitted that he drove the get-away vehicle, a Buick LeSabre.

Wolfe also admitted that he stole $12,060 from the F and C Bank in Holden, Mo., on July 8, 2009. Wolfe was armed with a handgun when he entered the bank, approached a teller, and demanded that she give him money from her drawer. Leak admitted that he drove the get-away vehicle during that robbery, as well.

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. Wolfe repeatedly shot at the pursuing deputy with a semi-automatic rifle, striking his vehicle multiple times and disabling it. The Chief of Police for the Holden, Mo., Police Department continued to pursue Wolfe and Leak. During the pursuit, Wolfe continued to shoot at the police chief’s vehicle, striking 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.

This case was 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.

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