BISMARCK – U.S. Attorney Timothy Q. Purdon announced that on Nov. 20, 2013, Colt D. Schneider, 20, Rapid City, S.D., was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Daniel Hovland 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. Schneider was found guilty of the charges by a federal jury on Aug. 22, 2013.
On the charge of bank robbery, Judge Hovland sentenced Schneider to serve one day with the Bureau of Prisons. On the charge of use and carry of a firearm during and in relation to a crime of violence, Judge Hovland sentenced Schneider to seven years with the Bureau of Prisons, which will run consecutively to the bank robbery sentence, to be followed by three years of supervised release. Schneider was sentenced to pay a $200 special assessment to the Crime Victim’s Fund and restitution of $4,053.35.
On Oct. 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 Nov. 2, 2012, Ward was arrested in Midland, Texas. On Feb. 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. Ward was sentenced on Aug. 26, 2013, to a total of 11 years in federal prison on the charges of bank robbery and use and carry of a firearm during and in relation to a crime of violence.
On Nov. 10, 2012, Schneider was arrested in Sarasota, Fla. He was returned to North Dakota and stood trial on August 20-22, 2013.
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.
Assistant U.S. Attorney David Hagler prosecuted the case.