News and Press Releases

KC man sentenced for smithville bank robbery

October 9, 2012

KANSAS CITY, Mo. – David M. Ketchmark, Acting United States Attorney for the Western District of Missouri, announced that a Kansas City, Mo., man was sentenced in federal court today on charges related to the armed robbery of Clay County Savings Bank in Smithville, Mo.

James A. Griffin, 19, of Kansas City, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Greg Kays to seven years and six months in federal prison without parole.

Griffin pleaded guilty on March 6, 2012, to using a firearm in a crime of violence. Co-defendant Ericka Y. Jones, 29, of Kansas City, awaits sentencing after pleading guilty on May 20, 2012, to aiding and abetting the use of a firearm in a crime of violence.

Jones and Griffin admitted that they stole $9,172 at gunpoint from Clay County Savings Bank, 1101 S. U.S. Highway 169, Smithville, Mo., on Nov. 28, 2011. Jones and Griffin entered the bank together. When they approached the teller counter, Griffin pointed a handgun at a teller and demanded money. The teller placed her drawer on the counter. Jones and Griffin both removed money from the teller drawer and put it in their pockets. They likewise took money from the drawer of another teller then fled from the bank.

On Nov. 30, 2011, a confidential source alerted law enforcement that Jones and Griffin were at a Foot Locker store late in the afternoon on the day of the bank robbery; they used approximately $900 in $20 bills to purchase clothing and shoes. According to an affidavit filed in support of the original criminal complaint, Jones returned to the store the next day to return merchandise, at which time she furnished her name, address and phone number. The confidential source reviewed surveillance photos from the bank robbery and identified Jones and Griffin, the affidavit says, as well as identifying the license plates of Jones=s vehicle, which matched the description of the vehicle used in the bank robbery.

Law enforcement investigators traced the vehicle=s license plates to the residence of Jones and Griffin and she was arrested the same day. Griffin self-surrendered to law enforcement the next day.

This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney D. Michael Green. It was investigated by the FBI, the Clay County, Mo., Sheriff=s Department and the Smithville, Mo., Police Department.

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