A Shakopee man has been sentenced to nine years in federal prison for his role in a string of robberies in the Madison, Wisconsin, area.

Robert L. Minette Jr., 31, and two other men were indicted by a federal grand jury for the robberies of five Madison banks, two Middleton banks and banks in Fitchburg and Sun Prairie, Wisconsin between Jan. 8 and Feb. 22 of 2018.

Minette was arrested in Shakopee in March 2018. On Jan. 15, he pleaded guilty to two bank robberies and one count of brandishing a firearm. On March 28, U.S. District Court Judge William Conley sentenced him to nine years.

Also indicted in the robberies were Jonathon L. Thompson, 29, and Kiefah A. Marbra, 18, of Madison. Minette was involved in the first two robberies and Marbra was involved in eight of them.

The robberies were planned by Thompson, who was also the getaway driver, U.S. Attorney Scott C. Blader said in a press release. Thompson chose the banks he wanted to rob and dropped off Marbra and Minette, who would enter the bank, brandish a gun, and demand money, Blader said. After the robberies, Thompson would drive them back to his apartment where he would divide the proceeds, according to Blader.

During sentencing, Conley noted the traumatic effect the robberies had on the victims and said Marbra was “led into this by his cynically manipulative uncle (Thompson).” While Conley found there was little doubt that Marbra was groomed by Thompson to rob the banks and “if necessary to be the fall guy,” Conley said Marbra “must pay the price for his crimes.”

Marbra pleaded guilty in January and was sentenced to 11 years in federal prison last month for aiding and abetting eight bank robberies and for brandishing a firearm during one of the robberies.

After a three-day trial, Thompson was convicted by a jury on Jan. 30 of all nine bank robberies and one count of brandishing a firearm. Thompson is scheduled to be sentenced on April 24 and he faces a mandatory minimum penalty of seven years and a maximum penalty of life in prison.

The case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation; Madison, Middleton, Sun Prairie, and Fitchburg Police Departments and Dane County Sheriff’s Office. The Dane County District Attorney’s Office also assisted in the case.

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