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Press Release

Bank robbers sentenced - trade masks, hoodies and firearms for prison jumpsuits

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

GALVESTON, Texas – Three individuals have been sent to prison for their roles in bank robberies that occurred in Brazoria and Wharton, announced U.S. Attorney Alamdar S. Hamdani.

Tony Wayne Mitchell, 46, and Kevin McCoy, 33, both of Houston, and Mikell Phillips, 41, Dallas, all pleaded guilty between March 2022 and September 2022. Each admitted to conspiracy to commit bank robbery by force or violence. Mitchell also admitted to brandishing a firearm in relation to a crime of violence.

Today, U.S. District Jeffery V. Brown handed Mitchell a 60-month term of imprisonment, while McCoy and Phillips received 48 and 54 months, respectively, for the robbery conspiracy. Mitchell also received 84 months for the firearms conviction which must be served consecutively to the other sentence imposed. His total 144-months prison term will be immediately followed by five years of supervised release while the other two will be on supervised release for three years.

“While one of them held a gun, four men robbed banks in small, rural towns and terrorized the employees,” said Hamdani. “One of the robbers died while trying to flee, but the other three, with today’s sentence, will face the long arm of justice.”   

Mitchell, McCoy and Phillips were members of a four-man armed robbery crew who targeted bank branches situated in small rural towns surrounding Houston. Between 2018 and 2019, the crew robbed two banks in Brazoria and Wharton. During each crime, two or three men entered the banks brandishing firearms while wearing masks and hoodies. One man would vault the teller counter while they gathered the cash and put employees in offices, supply closets or the bank vault. They then exited the banks on foot.

A Crime Stoppers tip and prescription eyeglasses led authorities to the men.

Phillips was involved with only one robbery. He was the only person who did not enter the bank during the heist but did attempt to dispose of monies from the Wharton bank robbery. 

The fourth member of the crew died in a car crash during his attempt to flee from law enforcement.  

Mitchell, McCoy and Phillips have been and will remain in custody pending transfer to a U.S. Bureau of Prisons facility to be determined in the near future.

FBI Texas City conducted the investigation with the assistance of police departments in Brazoria and Wharton. Assistant U.S. Attorney Kenneth Cusick prosecuted the case.

Updated April 28, 2023

Violent Crime
Firearms Offenses