Serial Bank Robber Pleads Guilty, Admits Knocking Over Six Banks in Six Weeks
The federal prosecution of a serial bank robber who briefly terrorized the St. Louis metropolitan area took an important step forward today. Dandre R. Brown, 30, of Godfrey, Illinois, pleaded guilty to a six-count federal indictment charging him with five counts of bank robbery and one count of transporting a stolen vehicle across state lines. The five charged robberies all took place in Madison County, Illinois, during a six-week span from November 2017 to January 2018:
As part of his guilty plea, Brown further admitted committing a sixth robbery involving the U.S. Bank in Florissant, Missouri, on December 11, 2017, and afterward fleeing in a stolen car back to Illinois. It is that conduct which formed the basis for Brown’s stolen vehicle conviction on count six.
All told, Brown stole nearly $37,000 from the six victim banks.
Brown’s bank robberies all followed the same basic modus operandi. Brown would enter the bank alone wearing something covering his head. He would present the teller with a note and then flee with the money to a vehicle parked a block or two away. On multiple occasions, when demanding money from the bank tellers, Brown would tell them he knew where they lived, intimating that he might come after them personally if they did anything to thwart his crimes.
Investigators were able to identify Brown because of outstanding police work at the local and federal level. After robbing the U.S. Bank in Alton, Brown dropped the demand note he had presented the teller. The note read, "Give me all the money NO Die Packs I have a weapon." Officers with the Alton Police Department found the note in the grass across the street from the bank and sent it to the FBI crime lab, where four latent fingerprints and one latent palm print were discovered and subsequently matched to Brown. After a federal arrest warrant was issued, the United States Marshals Service tracked Brown to Atlanta, Georgia, where they apprehended him on January 23, 2018.
During today’s plea hearing, the United States recounted additional evidence tying Brown to the crimes, including identifying characteristics visible in bank surveillance video and Brown’s connection to the various vehicles used in the robberies. One of those vehicles – a 2016 Chrysler 300 – Brown admitted stealing from a parking lot at the Gateway Regional Hospital in Granite City, Illinois, shortly before robbing the U.S. Bank in Florissant, Missouri. In exchange for Brown’s admission and guilty plea, the United States Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Missouri agreed to forego prosecution of the Florissant robbery.
Brown is being held without bond pending his sentencing hearing, which is set for February 26, 2019, at 1:30 pm, at the federal courthouse in Benton, Illinois. He faces up to 20 years imprisonment on each of his five robbery convictions, and up to 10 years imprisonment on his conviction for transporting a stolen vehicle. Each count also carries a fine of up to $250,000 and up to 3 years supervised release. Brown may also be ordered to pay restitution to the victims.
This case was brought as part of Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), a program that has been historically successful in bringing together all levels of law enforcement to reduce violent crime and make our neighborhoods safer for everyone. In October 2017, as part of a series of actions to address violent crime, the Justice Department announced the reinvigoration of PSN ("PSN 2.0") and directed all U.S. Attorney’s Offices to develop a district crime reduction strategy that incorporates the lessons learned since PSN launched in 2001.
"The prosecution of this serial bank robber demonstrates the success of the PSN program by the tremendous collaborative effort between federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies," said United States Attorney Steven D. Weinhoeft. "The full weight of federal law enforcement must be brought to fight this type of violent crime."
This case is the result of a joint investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, United States Marshals Service, and the Alton Police Department, in concert with the Illinois State Police, Madison County State’s Attorney’s Office, and the following police departments: Granite City, St. Louis County, Godfrey, East Alton, Wood River, and Edwardsville. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney James G. Piper, Jr.