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Justice News

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

Thursday, March 28, 2019

Minnesota Man Sentenced for 2 Dane County Bank Robberies

MADISON, WIS. – Scott C. Blader, United States Attorney for the Western District of Wisconsin, announced that Robert L. Minette, 32, Shakopee, Minnesota, was sentenced to nine years in federal prison today by U.S. District Court Judge William Conley on two counts of aiding and abetting bank robbery and one count of brandishing a firearm.  Minette 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.  The bank robberies—in Madison, Middleton, Sun Prairie, and Fitchburg, Wisconsin — occurred between January 8 and February 22, 2018.  Minette, Kiefah Marbra, 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; Marbra was involved in the next eight robberies; Johnson planned the robberies and was the getaway driver. 

Thompson chose the banks 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 Minette, Judge Conley remarked that in light of his criminal history, when Minette was released from prison he “doubled down” by then committing two bank robberies.  Judge Conley noted that even after the dye pack went off during the first robbery, Minette committed a second robbery and that must be considered in terms of the risk that he poses.

On January 15, 2018, Marbra pled guilty to the eight bank robberies that he was involved in and one count of brandishing a firearm.  Thompson was convicted on January 30, 2019, after a three-day jury trial, of all nine bank robberies and one count of brandishing a firearm. 

Marbra is scheduled to be sentenced on April 16, 2018.  Thompson is scheduled to be sentenced on April 24, 2019.  They both face a mandatory minimum penalty of seven years and a maximum penalty of life in prison.

The charges against Thompson are the result of an investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Madison Police Department, Middleton Police Department, Sun Prairie Police Department, Fitchburg Police Department, and Dane County Sheriff’s Office.  The Dane County District Attorney’s Office also assisted in this case.  The prosecution of the case is being handled by Assistant United States Attorneys Corey Stephan and Dan 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.

Project Safe Neighborhoods
Updated March 28, 2019