United States Attorney Robert Pitman announced that Jeffrey Brent Heckman, 26, of Macon, MO, was sentenced to 65 years in federal prison for a series of bank robberies in Missouri and Missouri. In addition to the prison term, United States District Judge Walter S. Smith, Jr., ordered that Heckman pay $29,160 restitution. The sentencing took place on May 31, in Waco Texas.
On March 8, 2012, Heckman pleaded guilty to two counts of bank robbery with a dangerous weapon, three counts of bank robbery and one count of carrying a firearm during a crime of violence. By pleading guilty, Heckman admitted to stealing a total of approximately $33,000 during the following bank robberies: the May 19, 2011, robbery of the Bank Northwest in Hamilton, MO; the June 1, 2011, robbery of a Preferred Bank in Brookfield, MO; June 21, 2011, robbery of the Citizen’s Bank of Blythesdale in Harrison County, MO, while carrying a shotgun; the July 8, 2011, robbery of the Merchant’s & Farmer’s Bank, 4000 Rangeline Street, in Columbia, MO; and, the July 11, 2011, robbery with a dangerous weapon of the Texell Credit Union, 3314 South 31st Street, in Temple, TX.
On May 17, 2012, Judge Smith sentenced Heckman’s co-defendants Jacob Thomas Norris, 24, and 23-year-old Alexia Quentasha Baker, 23, both of Macon were sentenced to 72 months and 41 months in federal prison, respectively, for their roles in the Merchant’s & Farmer’s Bank and Texell Credit Union robberies.
According to court records, from May 18, 2011, until September 5, 2011, the trio conspired to commit several bank robberies in Missouri and Texas before fleeing to Mexico to avoid capture.
Court documents further reveal that Norris and Baker, knowing that a bank robbery had been committed, rented hotel rooms in Georgetown, San Antonio, and Laredo, and purchased $3,500 in money cards, clothing and a backpack to facilitate their escape to Mexico. On September 5, 2011, the defendants were arrested by authorities in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. The following day, Mexican immigration officials deported them to the United States.
This case was investigated by agents with the Federal Bureau of Investigation in the San Antonio, Kansas City and St. Louis divisions along with the Temple, Texas Police Department and local authorities in Missouri. Assistant United States Attorney Greg Gloff prosecuted this case on behalf of the Government.