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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
District of Kansas

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, August 17, 2021

Two Kansas Men Guilty of Bank Robbery

KANSAS CITY, KAN. – Two Kansas men are facing prison sentences after taking part in a pair of bank robberies. A federal jury convicted Michael Shiferaw, 22, of Olathe of two counts of Armed Bank Robbery, and two counts of Discharging a Firearm in Connection with a Bank Robbery. 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. 


According to court documents, in October 2018, Shiferaw and Breakfield went into a Wells Fargo bank in Leawood, Kansas wearing 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. The men fired another round into the ceiling, yelling “happy holidays” before fleeing the bank with the money. 


In March 2019, the men robbed the Commerce Bank in Roeland Park, Kansas.  This time Breakfield remained in the vehicle as the getaway driver, and Shiferaw entered the bank alone. Shiferaw fired four rounds during the robbery, including one aimed at a customer trying to enter the bank.  The defendants were arrested shortly after the second robbery, and law enforcement recovered the firearm used in both crimes. Prosecutors agreed to drop the charges against Breakfield in connection with the Commerce Bank robbery in exchange for his guilty plea in the Wells Fargo case. Shiferaw elected to go to trial. 


A Bank Robbery conviction carries a maximum of 25 years in prison for each count. A conviction of Discharging a Firearm During a Bank Robbery carries a mandatory minimum sentence of 10 years in prison, consecutive with any other sentence. 


The Federal Bureau of Investigation, Olathe Police Department, Leawood Police Department, Roeland Park Police Department, and the U.S. Marshals Service investigated the case.

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

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Topic(s): 
Firearms Offenses
Component(s): 
Updated August 17, 2021