Wasilla Men Sentenced for 2014 Bank Robbery
ANCHORAGE, AK—U.S. Attorney Karen L. Loeffler announced today that Jason L. Wood and Lawrence L. Niesen, both of Wasilla, Alaska, were sentenced in federal court for their roles in a bank robbery which occurred on April 23, 2014, at a Key Bank branch in Wasilla. Wood, age 35, and Niesen, age 39, had earlier pleaded guilty to planning and then committing the unarmed robbery. Wood, who actually entered the bank and demanded money from a teller, was sentenced to 36 months in federal prison. Niesen, who acted as a “getaway” driver following the robbery, received 32 months in federal prison for his role. Both men were also ordered to make restitution to Key Bank in the amount of $1,604.00.
In imposing the sentences on the two men, Chief United States District Court Judge Ralph R. Beistline noted that both men had significant heroin addiction problems which appeared to be the impetus for the robbery. Referring to the prevalence of heroin addiction in the Anchorage and Mat-Su Valley areas as a “scourge”, Judge Beistline noted that drug addiction in general appears to be an increasing cause of these types of crimes.
Ms. Loeffler commends the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Wasilla Police Department for the investigation of this case.