News and Press Releases

Springfield man pleads guilty to armed bank robbery

January 26, 2012

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. -- Beth Phillips, United States Attorney for the Western District of Missouri, announced that a Springfield, Mo., man pleaded guilty in federal court today to the armed robbery of Great Southern Bank in Springfield.

Kwanell Allen, 21, of Springfield, pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Richard E. Dorr to the charge contained in a Dec. 15, 2011, federal indictment.

Allen pleaded guilty to robbing Great Southern Bank, 507 E. Kearney, Springfield, on Nov. 26, 2011. He also pleaded guilty to using a firearm in a crime of violence.

Allen entered Great Southern Bank at approximately 11 a.m. on Saturday, Nov. 26, 2011. Allen was wearing all black clothing, including a black ski mask and black hooded sweatshirt. He was armed with two semi-automatic pistols.

According to court documents, Allen conducted a takeover-style robbery of the bank. He first entered the branch manager=s office and held a pistol to her head. Allen forced her into the lobby as he continued to hold the gun to her head and demanded that a teller remove cash from the teller drawers and put it into the trash can behind the teller counter. He then ordered the teller to remove the liner of the trash can and give it to him and ordered the teller to climb over the counter and into the lobby.

Allen forced the manager and the teller into the manager=s office, where he made them rip the phone cord out of the wall, lay face down on the floor, and count to 100 as he left the bank.

Cameras inside the bank captured surveillance photos during the robbery. Cameras located outside the bank captured images of Allen=s vehicle, a maroon minivan with a distinct grill and no visible license plates, as he arrived just prior to the robbery. Several surveillance photos were provided to local media outlets, and the next day the Springfield Police Department received a tip from a caller who identified Allen.

Under federal statutes, Allen is subject to a mandatory minimum sentence of seven years in federal prison without parole, up to a sentence of life in federal prison without parole. 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 James J. Kelleher.  It was investigated by the FBI and the Springfield, Mo., Police Department.

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