Image by: Billings Gazette

The United States Attorney for the District of Montana, Jesse Laslovich, announced today that a man from Billings who was found guilty of his involvement in two bank robberies that occurred within a few days of each other was sentenced to two years in prison, to be followed by three years of supervised release. In February, the defendant, Steven Whitecloud, who is age 88, entered a guilty plea to the charge of robbing a bank.

Susan P. Watters, a United States District Judge, presided over the proceedings. In addition, the court imposed reparation in the amount of $3,092. In order to await his designation to a medical facility run by the Bureau of Prisons, Whitecloud was given the order to report to the United States Marshals Service.

In court filings, the government asserted that on August 24, 2023, co-defendant Patrick Justice went to the United States Bank located on Grand Avenue in Billings, gave the teller a note that demanded money, collected the money, and then escaped in a Ford Taurus.

When Justice returned to the Wells Fargo Bank on Main Street four days later, on August 28, 2023, he once again handed a demand note to the cashier. He also informed the teller that he was “strapped,” which the teller believed to mean that he was armed with a revolver.

Justice was able to escape once the cashier gave him money. Upon arrival at the area, law enforcement authorities discovered a green Taurus that matched the description of the individual who had committed the initial bank robbery. The officers made an attempt to bring the vehicle to a stop, and after a brief pursuit, they ended up pulling over the vehicle and taking Justice and Whitecloud into custody.

Officers were informed by Whitecloud that he had proposed that he and Justice rob banks in order to generate money, just as he had done in the past. During the year 2008, Whitecloud was found guilty of robbing a bank. It was admitted by Whitecloud that he demonstrated to Justice which banks to rob and that he also served as the getaway driver. The conviction that Justice received in this case resulted in him receiving a term of two years in jail.

This case was prosecuted by the United States Attorney’s Office. There was an investigation that was carried out by the Billings Police Department.


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