News and Press Releases

independence man pleads guilty to bank robbery

April 12, 2011

KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Beth Phillips, United States Attorney for the Western District of Missouri, announced that an Independence, Mo., man pleaded guilty in federal court today to aiding and abetting the robbery of an Independence bank.

            Michael D. Smythe, 50, of Independence, pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Ortrie D. Smith to the charge contained in an Oct. 21, 2010, federal indictment.

            By pleading guilty today, Smythe admitted that he approached two employees at Metcalf Bank, 10801 E. 23rd St., Independence, on Oct. 5, 2010. While an accomplice kept watch at the door, Smythe placed a note on the counter that explained he was robbing the bank. As a result of the demand note, the bank employees provided money to Smythe. They recalled Smythe stating that if they put an ink pack in the money, he would kill them. Smythe placed the money in a canvas-type bag, then approached another bank employee and demanded additional money, stealing a total of $7,343. Smythe then fled from the bank.

            Later the same day, law enforcement officers found Smythe hiding in the closet of a residence in Independence, sitting on $2,300. Officers executed a search warrant and found several items related to the bank robbery, including a demand note and clothes that matched the description of the clothing worn by the bank robbers.

            Under federal statutes, Smythe is subject to a sentence of up to 20 years in federal prison without parole, plus a fine up to $250,000. A sentencing hearing will be scheduled after the completion of a presentence investigation by the United States Probation Office.

            This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Justin G. Davids. It was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Independence, Mo., Police Department.

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