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Press Release

South Dakota Man Convicted of Bank Robbery in New England

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

BISMARCK – U.S. Attorney Timothy Q. Purdon announced that on August 22, 2013, Colt D. Schneider, 19, Rapid City, S.D., was found guilty by a federal jury in U.S. District Court on a charge of bank robbery and a charge of use and carry of a firearm during and in relation to a crime of violence.

On October 18, 2012, at approximately 8:20 a.m., two men wearing black ski masks and carrying guns entered American Bank Center in New England, N.D. After obtaining money from a bank employee, the men fled the scene.

During the investigation it was discovered that shortly before the robbery, a man who matched the physical characteristics of one of the bank robbers had stopped at a gas station in New England and had purchased gas. Law enforcement obtained the video from the gas station and distributed a picture of the suspect. A detective with the Rapid City (S.D.) Police Department recognized the man as Colt Schneider. Further investigation led to the identity of the other man – Johnner Joe Ward, Jr.

The police found that Schneider and Ward worked for a construction company in Rapid City and that they had worked on a construction job in New England a few months before the robbery.

On November 10, 2012, Schneider was arrested in Sarasota, Fla.

On November 2, 2012, Ward was arrested in Midland, Texas. On February 22, 2013, Ward pleaded guilty to charges of bank robbery and use and carry of a firearm during and in relation to a crime of violence. He is scheduled to be sentenced on August 26, 2013.

The charge of bank robbery carries a statutory maximum penalty of 20 years in federal prison and a $250,000 fine. The charge of use and carry of a firearm during and in relation to a crime of violence carries a statutory maximum of life in federal prison and a $250,000 fine.

The case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, North Dakota Bureau of Criminal Investigation, Hettinger County Sheriff’s Department, North Dakota Highway Patrol, Dickinson Police Department, Bismarck Police Department, Rapid City Police Department, Midland (Texas) Police Department, Bradenton (Florida) Police Department, and Florida Game & Fish.

Sentencing for Schneider has been scheduled for November 15, 2013, in U.S. District Court in Bismarck, N.D., at 10:00 a.m.

Assistant U.S. Attorney David Hagler is prosecuting the case.

Updated January 29, 2015