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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
District of South Dakota

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, February 19, 2021

Nebraska Man Found Guilty by Federal Jury of Multiple Sioux Falls Bank Robberies

United States Attorney Ron Parsons announced that Ferris Valentine, age 54, of Omaha, Nebraska was found guilty of two counts of Bank Robbery as a result of a federal jury trial in Sioux Falls, South Dakota.  The verdict was returned on February 18, 2021.

The charges carry a maximum penalty of 25 years on each count in federal prison and/or a $250,000 fine, five years of supervised release, and a $200 special assessment to the Federal Crime Victims Fund.  

Valentine was indicted by a federal grand jury on March 3, 2020. 

“I can imagine few things more terrifying than being a bank teller just trying to earn an honest living at work who suddenly finds herself staring down the barrel of a loaded gun,” said U.S. Attorney Parsons.  “You have to be a special kind of horrible to commit a violent crime like this once, let alone to give a repeat performance the following year.  The FBI, the Sioux Falls Police, and the DCI deserve our admiration and respect for their incredible detective work in solving these despicable crimes.”

On or about November 15, 2016, Valentine, aided by a partner, robbed the First National Bank branch bank located on West 26th Street in Sioux Falls, South Dakota.  The day before the robbery, Valentine rented a car in Omaha, Nebraska, and drove to Sioux Falls, South Dakota, with his accomplice.  When they robbed the bank, each wore a mask covering their faces.  Valentine was armed with a handgun and demanded the bank employees give him the money in the teller drawers and the vault.  Both robbers left the bank before the police arrived.

On November 24, 2017, Valentine robbed the same bank again, but without a partner.  He wore the same mask and once again, used a firearm to order the bank employees to comply.  He grabbed money from the vault and escaped.

After the second robbery, a DNA match connected Valentine’s partner to the first bank robbery, which subsequently led to the charges against Valentine.

The total monies taken from the bank robberies amounted to around $278,000.  First National Bank’s deposits were insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation.

This case was investigated by the Sioux Falls Police Department, South Dakota Division of Criminal Investigation, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Jeremy R. Jehangiri and Jeffrey C. Clapper prosecuted the case.

A presentence investigation was ordered, and a sentencing date was set for May 10, 2021.  Valentine was remanded to the custody of the U.S. Marshals Service.

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Updated February 19, 2021