Mich. man to plead guilty for multi-state bank robbing
By Teresa Auch Schultz email@example.com April 14, 2014 5:30PM
Beaver Bernard Russell, 47, of Benton Harbor, Mich., suspected of at least six bank robberies in five states, including Lansing and Munster, as well as a series of purse snatchings and an armed robbery in northwest Indiana, was captured last week after robbing the last of the banks in Kentucky, according to the FBI. | FBI provided photo
Updated: May 16, 2014 6:36AM
A Michigan man already serving 17 years in prison for robbing two banks in Kentucky is expected to plead guilty to robbing two more in Indiana, including one in Munster, and a third in Wisconsin.
Beaver Bernard Russell, of Benton Harbor, Mich., faces up to 20 years in prison on the new charges, according to a plea agreement filed in the U.S. District Court in Hammond.
Russell is also agreeing to pay restitution to all the banks involved, and prosecutors will recommend that his sentence on these three counts run concurrent to his sentence in Kentucky.
Russell, who has a criminal history dating back to the 1980s, started his bank robbing spree in Indiana on Jan. 5, 2012, when he robbed a Mutual Bank in South Bend and then a Fifth Third Bank in Munster on Jan. 12, 2012. He also robbed an M&I Bank in Pleasant Prairie, Wis. later that February. That case was eventually moved to Indiana and is the third count he is now pleading guilty to.
Russell was eventually arrested after robbing two banks in Kentucky and then leading police on a chase before his car crashed. He was sentenced to 125 months on the federal bank robbery charges there, which is being served consecutively to a seven-year sentence he received with the Boone County, Ky., Superior Court for the police chase.
Russell is also charged in Lake County Superior Court with a Class A felony theft in connection with the purse snatchings of two women in the parking garage for the Majestic Star Casino just days before he robbed the South Bend bank.
A change of plea hearing has been set for Thursday.