88-year-old Montana man sentenced to prison for 2 bank robberies

An 88-year-old man was sentenced Thursday to two years in prison for his role in two bank robberies within days of each other, according to Montana’s U.S. attorney.

Steven Whitecloud of Billings, Montana, pleaded guilty in February to two bank robberies that took place in August 2023.

U.S. District Judge Susan Watters sentenced Whitecloud to two years in prison to be followed by three years of supervised release.

The court additionally ordered Whitecloud to pay $3,092 in restitution.

The U.S. attorney’s office alleged in court documents that on Aug. 24, 2023, Whitecloud’s co-defendant Patrick Justice, 26, entered a U.S. Bank and presented a teller a note demanding money. The teller obliged and Justice fled in a green Ford Taurus.

Four days later, Justice entered a Wells Fargo bank and again presented a teller a note demanding money, telling the teller he was “strapped,” which the teller interpreted as Justice saying he was armed. The teller gave Justice money.

As police responded to the scene, they saw Justice entering the green Ford Taurus. After a pursuit, officers stopped the vehicle and detained Justice along with Whitecloud, who was driving. Authorities said the two stole a combined $15,000 in both robberies.

Whitecloud, who had been convicted of bank robbery in 2008, told officers he had suggested that he and Justice rob banks to make money, as he had done in the past. Whitecloud said he told Justice which banks they should hold up and acted as the getaway driver.

Justice was also sentenced to two years in prison for his conviction in the case. Whitecloud was ordered to report to the U.S. Marshals Service pending designation to a Bureau of Prisons medical facility.

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