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Press Release

Omaha Man Sentenced to 15 Years for Bank Robbery while Brandishing a Firearm and for Possessing Crack with the Intent to Distribute

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

United States Attorney Jan Sharp announced that Skyler F. Sanders, age 34, of Omaha, Nebraska, was sentenced today for bank robbery while brandishing a firearm and possessing 28 grams or more of cocaine base (Crack) with the intent to distribute. Senior United States District Court Judge Joseph F. Bataillon sentenced Sanders to 96 months’ imprisonment for both the bank robbery and drug offense to run concurrent. Senior Judge Bataillon sentenced Sanders to an additional 84 months’ imprisonment for brandishing a firearm during a crime of violence.   There is no parole in the federal system. After his release from prison, Sanders will be required to serve a five-year term of supervised release. Sanders was ordered to pay $36,959 in restitution.

Sanders was convicted in May 2021 for the drug charge following a 3-day jury trial and on January 3, 2022, for the bank robbery and brandishing a firearm during a crime of violence charges following a 2-day bench trial.

An investigation conducted by the Omaha Police Department and Federal Bureau of Investigation determined that on August 16, 2019, co-defendant Melvin Wilson drove a rented white Infiniti Q50 sports car to Bank of the West located at 8707 W. Center Road in Omaha.  In the vehicle with Wilson was Sanders.  Prior to the men arriving at Bank of the West, Wilson covered at least one of the license plates of the white Infiniti Q50 with dealer plates to conceal its identity. 

At approximately 10:37 a.m., Sanders and Wilson arrived at Bank of the West.  While Wilson waited as the get-a-way driver, Sanders exited the vehicle wearing dark clothing, including gloves, a black face mask, and carrying a black handgun.  Sanders walked into the Bank of the West, brandished a handgun, made contact with the tellers, and directed them to place the money from their drawers on the teller counter.  Sanders allegedly took $36,959 from the bank.  After the robbery, Sanders and Wilson fled the bank in the white Infiniti Q50.  The white Infiniti Q50 was located, abandoned, a few blocks away from the bank.  During the investigation Wilson’s DNA was found on a black mask that was found in the white Infiniti Q50.  Sander’s DNA was also found within the white Infiniti Q50. 

On October 3, 2019, law enforcement officers with the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Douglas County Sheriff’s Office, and the Omaha Police Department were conducting surveillance of Sanders’s residence in Omaha. Law enforcement had search warrants for Sanders’s DNA and cellular phone in connection with the Bank of the West robbery. When law enforcement attempted to make contact with Sanders, Sanders ran from them and during the short foot pursuit, a special agent saw Sanders reach into his pocket and then throw something. Sanders fell as he was going over a chain link fence and surrendered to law enforcement. Officers searched the vicinity of where Sanders was seen throwing something and found a bag of powder cocaine and a bag of crack cocaine over a wood privacy fence about 5-10 feet from where Sanders was seen throwing something. These items were collected and found to be a little over 17 grams of powder cocaine and a little over 30 grams of crack cocaine. The crack cocaine was packaged in 9 separate individual bags.

Senior Judge Bataillon sentenced Wilson to 60 months’ imprisonment on October 18, 2021, for his role in the bank robbery.

This case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Omaha Police Department, the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office.

Updated February 25, 2022

Drug Trafficking
Firearms Offenses
Violent Crime