Ballantine man sentenced for two attempted bank burglaries
BILLINGS—A federal judge on Wednesday sentenced a Ballantine man who admitted trying to break into two banks to two years in prison and three years of supervised release, U.S. Attorney Kurt Alme said.
Anthony William Felton, 27, pleaded guilty in October to bank burglary.
U.S. District Judge Susan P. Watters presided. Judge Watters will set a hearing to determine restitution.
Prosecutors said the evidence would show that Felton broke into the Beartooth Bank in Billings on Oct. 24, 2017 and tried to break into the ATM machine using a grinder and other tools. He fled before officers responded to the alarm. Officers found a grinder, pocket knife and an extension cord near the ATM. Security footage captured the attempt but was inconclusive about the identity of the suspect, who appeared to avoid the cameras.
A second bank burglary occurred on Dec. 6, 2017 when Felton broke into the Stockman Bank in Worden by breaking an interior door. Felton used an angle grinder to try to access cash in an ATM. He was unsuccessful but caused about $12,000 in damages.
Law enforcement arrested Felton on Dec. 14, 2017 after he was suspected of multiple robberies in the area. A search of his backpack yielded a bandana, a pry bar and bolt cutter. During search of a vehicle Felton was using, officers found a concrete saw that appeared to be the same saw used in the bank burglaries. Felton admitted to law enforcement he attempted to rob both banks.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Zeno Baucus prosecuted the case, which was investigated by the FBI.
The case is part of Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), which is the centerpiece of the Department of Justice’s violent crime reduction efforts. PSN is an evidence-based program proven to be effective at reducing violent crime. Through PSN, a broad spectrum of stakeholders work together to identify the most pressing violent crime problems in the community and develop comprehensive solutions to address them. As part of this strategy, PSN focuses enforcement efforts on the most violent offenders and partners with locally based prevention and reentry programs for lasting reductions in crime.