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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Western District of Michigan

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, June 9, 2021

Two Lansing Men Sentenced To Federal Prison For Armed Robbery Spree

The pair stole more than $65,000 at gunpoint from cash advance businesses in Lansing and Battle Creek, Michigan

          GRAND RAPIDS, MICHIGAN —U.S. Attorney Andrew Birge announced today that James Winston Honeysucker, Jr., of Lansing, Michigan, was sentenced to serve more than 27 years in federal prison for committing four armed robberies in Lansing and Battle Creek, Michigan. Earlier this year, Honeysucker’s co-defendant, Wilnell Lakeey Henry, also of Lansing, was sentenced to more than 6 years for his role as Honeysucker’s getaway driver. The pair were also ordered to pay full restitution to their victims.

          From August through October 2019, Honeysucker robbed four cash advance businesses at gunpoint in Lansing and Battle Creek. In each case, he pretended to be interested in applying for a loan before suddenly brandishing a pistol, pointing it at the clerk, and demanding cash. After his first robbery, Honeysucker recruited Henry to serve as his getaway driver, and they committed the remaining three robberies together.

          Investigators with the Battle Creek Police Department located and arrested Henry after surveillance videos showed him picking Honeysucker up after the robbery on October 22. Later that night, BCPD officers located Honeysucker at the bus station in Chicago, Illinois. BCPD officers then contacted their counterparts in Chicago, who went to the bus station and arrested Honeysucker with more than $17,000 cash and a loaded pistol in his possession. The FBI then assisted and expanded the investigation to definitively link Honeysucker and Henry to the three other robberies.

          Honeysucker was convicted in February following a four-day jury trial, during which Henry cooperated with federal authorities and testified against Honeysucker. At Honeysucker’s sentencing, Chief U.S. District Court Judge Robert J. Jonker expressed relief that no one was killed during the robbery spree and admonished Honeysucker for causing “real human toll” by robbing tellers at gunpoint.  Chief Judge Jonker was particularly struck by one teller’s testimony that during the robbery the thought flashed through her mind that she wouldn’t see her child again. 

          In announcing the sentences, U.S. Attorney Birge stated, “Instead of working for their money, these brazen criminals used a loaded pistol to threaten and steal from those trying to earn an honest living. They were identified and apprehended so they could be brought to justice thanks to the outstanding work of our partners at the Battle Creek Police Department, Lansing Police Department, and Eaton County Sheriff’s Department and the Federal Bureau of Investigation and Chicago Police Department.”

          “This defendant committed four brazen armed robberies that terrorized innocent victims and endangered lives. The sentences handed down in this case should serve as an example to others – if you rob any kind of business with a firearm in Michigan, law enforcement at all levels will work together to bring you to justice,” said Timothy Waters, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI in Michigan. 

          This case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Patrick Castle and Daniel Mekaru, and investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Battle Creek Police Department, Lansing Police Department, Eaton County Sheriff’s Department, and Chicago Police Department.

Armed Robbery

September 30, 2019 – $17,000

Approved Cash on W. Columbia Ave.

Battle Creek, Michigan

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Topic(s): 
Firearms Offenses
Violent Crime
Updated June 10, 2021