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Press Release

Kansas Men Sentenced to Prison for Bank Robberies

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

KANSAS CITY, KAN. – A Kansas man was sentenced to prison for his participation in a pair of armed bank robberies in which he fired several shots, including one at a customer about to enter the bank.

In August 2021, a federal jury convicted Michael Shiferaw, 23, of Olathe of two counts of armed bank robbery and two counts of discharging a firearm in connection with a bank robbery. This week a federal judge sentenced Shiferaw to 28 years in prison.

Prior to Shiferaw’s trial, accomplice Kenya Breakfield, 23, of Olathe pleaded guilty to one count of armed bank robbery and one count of discharging a firearm in connection with a bank robbery. Breakfield was sentenced in September 2021 to 76 months in prison.

In October 2018, Shiferaw and Breakfield went into a Wells Fargo bank in Leawood, Kansas, wearing Venom face masks and carrying handguns. Shiferaw fired a shot into the ceiling upon entering.  He then pointed a gun at the tellers and forced them to fill a duffel bag with money. As they left the bank, Shiferaw fired another round into the ceiling, yelling “happy holidays”. 

In March 2019, the men robbed the Commerce Bank in Roeland Park, Kansas.  This time Breakfield stayed in the vehicle as the getaway driver, and Shiferaw entered the bank alone. Shiferaw fired four rounds during the robbery. When tellers attempted to hide under the counter, Shiferaw pointed his gun at them demanding to get into the vault. When one of the tellers attempted to get up, Shiferaw shoved him and pointed a gun at his head.

The defendants were arrested shortly after the second robbery.  

The Federal Bureau of Investigation, Olathe Police Department, Leawood Police Department, and Roeland Park Police Department all assisted in the investigation of the case.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Kim Flannigan prosecuted the case.


Updated December 3, 2021

Firearms Offenses