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Kalamazoo armed bank robber gets 17 years in prison

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Posted at 10:55 AM, Jan 26, 2021
and last updated 2021-01-26 10:55:57-05

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — A 28-year-old man from Muncie, Indiana was sentenced last week to serve 17 years in the Federal Bureau of Prisons for participating in an armed bank robbery.

Justin Mychal Smith will also have a supervised release of five years and must pay $5,090 in restitution, according to a news release.

In March 2020, Smith’s co-defendant, Trayshauon Raheim Atkinson, 22, of Kalamazoo, was sentenced to serve 11 years in prison.

On Nov. 30, 2018, Smith and Atkinson entered the PNC Bank on Stadium Drive in Kalamazoo.

Atkinson handed the teller a note saying, “I HAVE A BOMB...DON’T MAKE NO MOVES...GIVE ME ALL THE MONEY...MOVE FAST.”

At the same time, Smith took out a semiautomatic pistol and pointed it directly at the teller’s face.

Smith scaled the teller’s counter, with the pistol still pointed at her.

He moved over to another teller in front of Atkinson and shoved the gun into the face of that teller.

She recoiled back and Smith grabbed the cash.

Atkinson was identified and arrested soon after the robbery.

Smith was a fugitive until July 2020, when he was arrested in California.

He was returned to Michigan and pleaded guilty to the charges on Oct. 14.

He is also wanted in connection with a murder in Indiana.