News and Press Releases

kC man, woman plead guilty to using a firearm
in Smithville bank robbery

May 30, 2012

KANSAS CITY, Mo. – David M. Ketchmark, Acting United States Attorney for the Western District of Missouri, announced that a Kansas City, Mo., woman pleaded guilty in federal court today to aiding and abetting the use of a firearm in the robbery of Clay County Savings Bank in Smithville, Mo.

Ericka Y. Jones, 29, of Kansas City, pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Greg Kays to the charge contained in a Dec. 13, 2011, federal indictment.

Co-defendant James A. Griffin, 19, of Kansas City, pleaded guilty on March 6, 2012, to using 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.

Under federal statutes, Jones and Griffin are each subject to a mandatory minimum sentence of seven 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 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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