Thornton Man Sentenced to 72 Months for Bank Robbery
DENVER – The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Colorado announces that Brandon Lee Schneider, age 35, of Thornton, Colorado, was sentenced on April 1, 2022, to 72 months in federal prison for his role in robbing a bank. According to the plea agreement, in September 2020, the defendant drove to Bank of the West in Thornton to rob the bank. The defendant wrote a note that read “No dye packs, No tracers, No games, Put all the money in the drawer to me now Thx.” The defendant gave the note to his associate, who subsequently entered the bank and approached the teller. The plea agreement also referenced four other bank robberies that the government contends were committed by the defendant and his associates.
“Bank robbery is part of a violent crime problem here in the Denver metro area,” said U.S. Attorney Cole Finegan. “Our office is committed to making Colorado safer and we will enforce the law by prosecuting these and other violent crimes together with our law enforcement partners, including our colleagues in District Attorney’s offices.”
“Robbing a bank is a federal felony, no matter whether the crime in perpetrated with a weapon, a note, or just a verbal threat,” said Michael Schneider, Special Agent in Charge for the FBI Denver Field Office. “We are committed to bringing federal investigative resources to solve these crimes and bring perpetrators to justice with our law enforcement partners.”
In Denver, bank robberies are investigated by the Rocky Mountain Safe Streets Task Force and prosecuted by the United States Attorney’s Office, as well as District Attorneys. At the federal level, bank robbery is punishable with up to 20 years in prison for each offense. The potential punishment increases if a dangerous weapon is used in the commission of the crime. Over the past year, the FBI and the U.S. Attorney’s Office have handled a number of metro area bank robbery matters, including the following:
- August 17, 2021 -- David Doering was sentenced to 140 months in prison and three years of supervised release for his role robbing two banks while on supervised release. (20-cr-156-DDD)
- January 28, 2022 -- Paul Hernandez was sentenced to 171 months in federal prison for robbing three banks in the Denver metro area while on bond for robbery charges. (20-cr-339-WJM)
- April 1, 2022 – Brandon Lee Schneider was sentenced to 72 months in federal prison. (21-cr-11-PAB).
- April 14, 2022 -- Patrick James Murray is scheduled to be sentenced for committing three bank robberies in Lakewood and Arvada by handing a threatening note to a teller and demanding cash. The defendant pleaded guilty to all three robberies in December 2021. (21-cr-58-RBJ)
- April 20, 2022 -- Daniel Shaw is scheduled to be sentenced for committing four bank robberies and one carjacking in the Denver and Colorado Springs areas. Shaw pleaded guilty in December 2021. (21-cr-109-DDD)
- June 1, 2022 -- Jared Fitzgerald is scheduled to be sentenced for committing four bank robberies in Denver and Pueblo while on supervised release after serving a term of imprisonment for bank robbery. Fitzgerald pleaded guilty in December 2021. (21-cr-274-CMA)
- December 8 2021 -- Benjamin Whalen and William Foust were indicted for multiple counts of bank robbery. Foust is indicted for allegedly robbing 14 banks, and Whalen is indicted for allegedly robbing 3 banks. Both are detained and pending trial. (21-cr-00410-WJM)
- November 16, 2021 – Joel Knerl was indicted for allegedly robbing ten banks in October and November of last year. He is detained pending trial. (21-cr-385-DDD)
- July 13, 2021 -- Jerome Bravo was indicted on ten counts of bank robbery and three counts of using a firearm in furtherance of a crime of violence for allegedly committing ten bank robberies in the Denver metro area. He is detained and pending trial. (21-cr-226-DDD)
If anyone has any information about a bank robbery, please call the FBI Rocky Mountain Safe Streets Task Force at 303-629-7171; or, you may remain anonymous by calling CRIMESTOPPERS at 720-913-STOP (7867).
Indictments are allegations and defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.
Case 21-cr-0011 was handled by Assistant United States Attorney Thomas Minser. The Westminster Police Department, the Denver Police Department, the Thornton Police Department, and the Rocky Mountain Safe Streets Task Force assisted in that investigation. All other matters referenced herein are being handled by Assistant United States Attorney Brian Dunn, and were investigated by the Rocky Mountain Safe Streets Task Force.
This case is part of Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), a program bringing together all levels of law enforcement and the communities they serve to reduce violent crime and gun violence, and to make our neighborhoods safer for everyone. On May 26, 2021, the Department launched a violent crime reduction strategy strengthening PSN based on these core principles: fostering trust and legitimacy in our communities, supporting community-based organizations that help prevent violence from occurring in the first place, setting focused and strategic enforcement priorities, and measuring the results.