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GRAND RAPIDS, MICHIGAN — Simon S. Gutierrez, also known as Simon St. John Gutierrez, 73, most recently of Three Rivers, Michigan, was sentenced to 97 months’ imprisonment by U.S. District Judge Robert Holmes Bell. He will be under the court’s supervision for 5 years after he is released, and he was ordered to pay restitution. Gutierrez pled guilty to one count of armed credit union robbery and one count of being a felon in possession of a firearm in January pursuant to a plea agreement.
On January 25, 2013, Gutierrez robbed a branch of the Fifth Third Bank in Kalamazoo and brandished what appeared to be a revolver. On July 10, 2015, he robbed a branch of the Consumers Credit Union next door to the bank he robbed in 2013. In the 2015 robbery, he pretended to be making a lunch delivery before brandishing what appeared to be two handguns and robbing the credit union. Investigators later determined that the two weapons were pellet guns, but a search of his residence led to the recovery of a stolen revolver that matched the description of the weapon used in the 2013 robbery.
Gutierrez’s extensive criminal history includes armed robbery convictions dating back to the 1960s. In the 1980s, he was convicted of bank robberies in Colorado and in Illinois, where authorities described him as "a cunning and dangerous man," a sentiment Judge Bell echoed in imposing sentence. He served approximately thirty years in state and federal prison for those crimes. Altogether he has spent more than forty years in custody. He was last released in 2010.
"Hopefully Mr. Gutierrez’s career in bank robbery and violence is now at an end," U.S. Attorney Patrick Miles said. "The Court’s sentence is a message to younger citizens not to follow the path he has trodden; the consequence of not heeding that message is spending the better part of life locked up."
"The sentencing of Mr. Gutierrez sends a very clear message that the citizens of Kalamazoo County will not tolerate violent crime in our community, and will not tolerate being a crime destination for out-of-state criminals. The FBI Kalamazoo Resident Agency and our local law enforcement partners will continue to work collectively as we did in this investigation to ensure the safety of our community," said David P. Gelios, Special Agent in Charge, FBI Detroit.
The FBI, Kalamazoo Department of Public Safety, and Three Rivers Police Department investigated the robberies. Assistant U.S. Attorney Justin M. Presant prosecuted the case.