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Press Release

Ten Years In Federal Prison For Armed Bank Robber

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of Colorado

DENVER – United States Attorney Jason R. Dunn announced that Christopher Lee Wheatfall-Grate, age 29, of Denver, was sentenced to ten years (120 months) in federal prison for his role in an armed bank robbery.  The sentence will be followed by a three-year term of supervised release.  

According to the facts in the plea agreement, on April 16, 2019, two robbers, one of whom was the defendant, entered the U.S. Bank in Westminster.  Both robbers were brandishing handguns, ordering “hands up.”  The defendant jumped over the teller counter and confronted two tellers.  The second robber directed the bank manager to the vault and demanded access.  Since more than one bank employee was necessary to open the vault, the defendant forced three other tellers to the vault area to obtain access.  The robbers then fled with less than $1,400.00 and escaped in a waiting vehicle that had been stolen.

Defendant Wheatfall-Grate pleaded guilty on February 20, 2020, to one count of bank robbery and one count of brandishing a firearm during a crime of violence.   As part of his plea agreement, he agreed to pay restitution to U.S. Bank in the amount of $1,318.00. 

“Bank robbery is simply one of the dumbest crimes: low payout, guaranteed arrest by the FBI, and a long federal prison sentence,” said United States Attorney Jason Dunn.  “Would-be bank robbers really need to reassess whether a different, and lawful, line of work would be more fruitful.” 

“Monday’s sentencing of Christopher Wheatfall-Grate reflects the continuing impact federal, state and local partnerships have on combating individuals who commit armed bank robberies in our community,” said FBI Denver Special Agent in Charge Michael Schneider.  “We will continue to aggressively investigate individuals who target our financial institutions and needlessly threaten their personnel to ensure they are held accountable.  The FBI would like to thank the Lakewood and Westminster Police Departments, as well as the United States Attorney’s Office, for their dedication and hard work in this investigation.”

United States District Court Judge R. Brooke Jackson sentenced Wheatfall-Grate on February 1, 2021.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Denver Police Department, and the Denver Sheriff’s Office conducted the investigation.  Assistant United States Attorney Kurt J. Bohn handled the prosecution. 

Case Number:  19-cr-00230-RBJ                           

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Updated February 2, 2021

Violent Crime