88-year-old man sentenced to prison for role in bank robbery committed with grandson

The man's grandson handed tellers notes asking for money.

An 88-year-old Billings, Montana, man was sentenced Thursday to two years in prison for his role in two bank robberies, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Montana.

The robberies, which were carried out by his grandson, happened within four days of each other and netted $15,000, according to NBC News.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office alleged in court documents that on Aug. 24, 2023, 88-year-old Steven 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 demanded money via a note, telling the teller he was “strapped.” The teller told prosecutors that she interpreted the note to mean Justice was 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.

After pleading guilty to one count, Whitecloud was sentenced to two years in prison, followed by three years of supervised release.

Whitecloud was convicted of bank robbery in 2008 and sentenced to 10 years. According to law enforcement 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.

Whitecloud has various health issues, including lung cancer, according to prosecutors.

“He is living on the very ragged end of life,” the U.S. attorney’s sentencing memorandum read. “And yet. Despite all of his illness and infirmity, the defendant has demonstrated himself to be, on multiple occasions, a significant danger to the community.”

Comments on this article