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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, February 20, 2020

Bank Robber Who Escaped From Custody Admits To Rochester Bank Robberies

CONTACT: Barbara Burns
PHONE: (716) 843-5817
FAX #: (716) 551-3051

ROCHESTER, N.Y. - U.S. Attorney James P. Kennedy, Jr. announced today that Michael Matzen, 39, of Rochester, NY, pleaded guilty to escaping from federal custody and to two counts of bank robbery before Chief U.S. District Judge Frank P. Geraci, Jr.  The charges carry a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine. 

Assistant U.S. Attorney Sean C. Eldridge, who is handling the case, stated that Matzen was previously sentenced to serve 57 months in prison in the Northern District of New York for two separate bank robberies. On July 26, 2019, the defendant was designated by the Bureau of Prisons to serve the last several months of that sentence at the Residential Reentry Center in Rochester. On August 30, 2019, Matzen was given permission to temporarily leave the facility until 8:00pm that evening.  However, he absconded and did not return to the center to complete serving his sentence.  

On September 3, 2019, four days after absconding, Matzen robbed the Canandaigua National Bank at 210 Alexander Street in Rochester. The defendant entered the bank wearing a hoodie, dark sunglasses, and a bandana that covered most of his face, and handed a teller a note that demanded money. The teller complied and Matzen fled the bank.

On September 19, 2019, Matzen robbed the Key Bank at 1185 University Avenue in Rochester. The defendant entered the bank and handed a teller a note that stated “Give me all big bills, 50-100’s, no GPS or dye pack, top & bottom drawers, all will be OK for you all.”  The teller complied and, as Matzen attempted to flee the bank, he was tackled and detained by two bank customers who held the defendant down until police officers arrived. 

The plea is the result of an investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Rochester Area Major Crimes Task Force, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Gary Loeffert; the Rochester Police Department, under the direction of Chief La’Ron D. Singletary; and the United States Marshals Service, under the direction of Marshal Charles Salina.

Matzen’s sentencing is scheduled for May 22, 2020, at 2:00 p.m. before Chief Judge Geraci. 

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Updated February 20, 2020