Home Minneapolis Press Releases 2013 Texas Man Sentenced for Bank Robbery in New England

Texas Man Sentenced for Bank Robbery in New England

U.S. Attorney’s Office August 26, 2013
  • District of North Dakota (701) 297-7400

BISMARCK, ND—U.S. Attorney Timothy Q. Purdon announced that on August 26, 2013, Johnner J. Ward, Jr., 29, Abilene, Texas, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Daniel L. Hovland on a charge of bank robbery and a charge of use and carry of a firearm during and in relation to a crime of violence.

On the charge of bank robbery, Judge Hovland sentenced Ward to four years with the Bureau of Prisons. On the charge of use and carry of a firearm during and in relation to a crime of violence, Judge Hovland sentenced Ward to seven years with the Bureau of Prisons, which will run consecutively to the bank robbery sentence, to be followed by three years of supervised release. Ward was sentenced to pay a $200 special assessment to the Crime Victim’s Fund and restitution of $4,053.35.

On October 18, 2012, at approximately 8:20 a.m., two men wearing black ski masks and carrying guns entered American Bank Center in New England, North Dakota. After obtaining money from a bank employee, the men fled the scene.

During the investigation it was discovered that shortly before the robbery, a man who matched the physical characteristics of one of the bank robbers had stopped at a gas station in New England and had purchased gas. Law enforcement obtained the video from the gas station and distributed a picture of the suspect. A detective with the Rapid City (South Dakota) Police Department recognized the man as Colt Schneider. Further investigation led to the identity of the other man—Johnner Joe Ward, Jr.

The police found that Schneider and Ward worked for a construction company in Rapid City and that they had worked on a construction job in New England a few months before the robbery.

On November 10, 2012, Schneider was arrested in Sarasota, Florida.

On November 2, 2012, Ward was arrested in Midland, Texas. On February 22, 2013, Ward pleaded guilty to charges of bank robbery and use and carry of a firearm during and in relation to a crime of violence.

The case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation; Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives; North Dakota Bureau of Criminal Investigation; Hettinger County Sheriff’s Department; North Dakota Highway Patrol, Dickinson Police Department; Bismarck Police Department; Rapid City Police Department; Midland (Texas) Police Department; Bradenton (Florida) Police Department; and Florida Game and Fish.

Schneider was convicted by a federal jury on August 22, 2013, on charges of bank robbery and use and carry of a firearm during and in relation to a crime of violence. Sentencing for Schneider has been scheduled for November 15, 2013, in U.S. District Court in Bismarck, North Dakota, at 10:00 a.m.

Assistant U.S. Attorney David Hagler prosecuted the case.