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Press Release

Madison Man Sentenced to 11 Years for Bank Robberies

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Western District of Wisconsin

MADISON, WIS. – Scott C. Blader, United States Attorney for the Western District of Wisconsin, announced that Kiefah A. Marbra, 19, Madison, Wisconsin, was sentenced to 11 years in federal prison yesterday by U.S. District Court Judge William Conley, for aiding and abetting eight bank robberies and for brandishing a firearm during one of the robberies.  Marbra entered a guilty plea to these charges on January 15, 2019.

This case involves a series of nine bank robberies that were planned by Jonathan Thompson, who was also the getaway driver.  The robberies took place at banks in Madison, Middleton, Sun Prairie, and Fitchburg and occurred between January 8 and February 22, 2018.  Marbra, Robert Minette, and Thompson were indicted by a federal grand jury for these bank robberies on May 30, 2018.  Minette was involved in the first two robberies and Marbra was involved in the latter eight of them.

Thompson chose the banks he wanted to rob and dropped off Marbra and Minette, who would enter the bank, brandish a gun, and demand money.  After the robberies, Thompson would drive them back to his apartment where he would divide the proceeds. 

In sentencing, Judge Conley noted the traumatic affect these crimes had on the victims and remarked that Marbra was, “led into this by his cynically manipulative uncle [Thompson].”  While Judge Conley found there was little doubt that Marbra was groomed by Thompson to do these robberies and “if necessary to be the fall guy,” Judge Conley said that “he must pay the price for his crimes.”

On January 15, 2019, Robert Minette pleaded guilty to the two bank robberies that he participated in and one count of brandishing a firearm.  Jonathan Thompson was convicted by a jury on January 30, 2019, of all nine bank robberies and one count of brandishing a firearm after a three-day trial. 

On March 28, Judge Conley sentenced Minette to nine years in federal prison.  Thompson is scheduled to be sentenced on April 24 and he faces a mandatory minimum penalty of seven years and a maximum penalty of life in prison.

The charges in this case are the result of an investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation; Madison, Middleton, Sun Prairie, and Fitchburg Police Departments; and Dane County Sheriff’s Office.  The Dane County District Attorney’s Office also assisted in the case.  The prosecution of the case was handled by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Corey Stephan and Daniel Graber.

This case has been brought as part of Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), the U.S. Justice Department’s program to reduce violent crime.  The PSN approach emphasizes coordination between state and federal prosecutors and all levels of law enforcement to address gun crime, especially felons illegally possessing firearms and ammunition and violent and drug crimes that involve the use of firearms.

Updated April 17, 2019

Project Safe Neighborhoods