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Metro East serial bank robber sentenced to 20 years

Dandre R. Brown, 30, of Godfrey, was sentenced Wednesday to 20 years in prison for a series of robberies of banks across the Metro East.

United States Attorney for the Southern District of Illinois Steven D. Weinhoeft said Brown was charged in a six-count federal indictment with five counts of bank robbery and one count of transporting a stolen vehicle across state lines. He pleaded guilty to the charges in November 2018. He is originally from Douglasville, Ga.

Documents filed in federal district court revealed that over a span of six weeks, Brown committed five bank robberies in Madison County

– Nov. 29, 2017, U.S. Bank, Alton, $2,910
– Dec. 20, 2017, Reliance Bank, Godfrey, $2,246
– Dec. 22, 2017, Regions Bank, East Alton, $13,774
– Jan. 2, 2018, U.S. Bank, Wood River, $7,550
– Jan. 10, 2018, 1st MidAmerica Credit Union, Edwardsville, $8,882

As part of his guilty plea, Brown further admitted robbing a U.S. Bank in Florissant, Mo., on Dec. 11, 2017. On that occasion, Brown made off with $1,625 and then fled back to Illinois in a stolen car.

Brown’s six bank robberies all followed the same method. Brown would enter the bank alone wearing something covering his head. He would present the teller with a note and then flee with the money to a vehicle parked a block or two away. On four occasions, when demanding money from the bank tellers, Brown told the tellers he knew where they lived, intimating that he might come after them personally if they did anything to thwart his crimes.

Investigators were able to identify Brown with the help of the robber himself.

After robbing the U.S. Bank in Alton, Brown dropped the demand note he had presented the teller. The note read, “Give me all the money NO Die Packs I have a weapon.” Officers with the Alton Police Department found the note in the grass across the street from the bank and sent it to the FBI crime lab, where four latent fingerprints and one latent palm print were discovered and subsequently matched to Brown.

A federal arrest warrant was issued, and the United States Marshals Service tracked Brown to Atlanta on Jan. 23, 2018.

Before Brown was sentenced, the district court received statements from several of the victim bank tellers, who reported their experiences as “very damaging and traumatizing.” One teller was so affected by Brown’s threats that she became uncomfortable in her home and had difficulty sleeping. The experience led another victim to leave her employment at the bank. The woman whose car was stolen told the court that for a week afterward she was too afraid to go home because, along with her car, Brown had stolen her house keys.

Brown’s criminal record includes a 2006 conviction for armed robbery in St. Louis, and he was on parole for theft when he committed the bank robberies. His federal sentence includes a three-year term of supervised release. He was also ordered to pay over $35,000 in restitution.

The investigation was conducted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Illinois State Police, Madison County State’s Attorney’s Office, and the following police departments: Granite City, Alton, St. Louis County, Godfrey, East Alton, Wood River, and Edwardsville.

The case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys James G. Piper Jr. and Alexandria M. Burns.

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