Two Men Plead Guilty to Robbing the First State Bank of Bigfork in Kelliher
|U.S. Attorney’s Office May 16, 2013|
MINNEAPOLIS—Earlier today in federal court in St. Paul, a 20-year-old Bemidji man pleaded guilty to the December 10, 2012 armed robbery of the First State Bank of Bigfork, which is located in Kelliher, Minnesota. Travis Michael Burns specifically pleaded guilty to one count of aiding and abetting armed bank robbery. Burns, who was indicted on January 16, 2013, along with a co-defendant, entered his plea before United States District Court Judge Donovan W. Frank.
In his plea agreement, Burns admitted that on December 10, 2012, he drove Cody Lowell Troy, age 20, of Mizpah, to the bank for the purpose of robbing it. Burns also admitted waiting in the vehicle while Troy went inside the bank and then driving away again after Troy ran from the bank and got back in the vehicle.
According to a law enforcement affidavit filed in the case, Troy reportedly wore a white protective containment suit, a “Halloween” movie-style mask, Nike Air Jordan shoes, and black gloves during the robbery. Approaching a bank teller, he placed a black backpack on the counter, pointed the shotgun in the teller’s direction, and then pumped the gun. The teller immediately placed money in the backpack, which Troy grabbed before fleeing the premises.
On December 12, 2012, police arrested Troy in Bemidji on an outstanding Itasca County warrant for failure to appear in connection with a prior felony. At that time, officers located a red pickup that matched the description of the vehicle two witnesses spotted in the vicinity of the Kelliher bank and driving away from the bank immediately following the December 10, 2012, robbery.
During the subsequent execution of a search warrant at the Bemidji apartment where Burns lived and Troy was staying, authorities seized shotgun shells, a hacksaw, and a loaded sawed-off shotgun, as well as the sawed-off gun stock and barrel. They also recovered a white protective containment suit, black gloves, Nike Air Jordan shoes, and a “Halloween” movie-style mask. The backpack used in the robbery and some money from the bank were recovered in Burns’ bedroom.
On May 14, 2013, Troy pleaded guilty to one count of brandishing a firearm during a crime of violence. In his plea agreement, he admitted robbing the bank while brandishing a 12-gauge, sawed-off shotgun that had a partially obliterated serial number. He stole approximately $3,738.
For his crime, Troy faces a mandatory minimum sentence of 10 years in federal prison. Burns faces a potential maximum penalty of 25 years in federal prison. Judge Frank will determine their sentences at future hearings, yet to be scheduled.
This case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Beltrami County Sheriff’s Office, the Headwaters Safe Trails Task Force, and the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension. It is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Manda M. Sertich and Kevin S. Ueland.