MADISON, WIS. – Scott C. Blader, United States Attorney for the Western District of Wisconsin, announced that Julian Thomas, 40, Madison, Wis., was sentenced today by U.S. District Judge William Conley to 20 years in federal prison. Judge Conley imposed 13 years for armed bank robbery and a consecutive seven years for brandishing a firearm during a crime of violence.
Thomas was convicted of these charges on October 19, 2017, after a two-day jury trial in federal court in Madison. Thomas’s co-defendant, James Thompson, 29, Madison, Wis., pleaded guilty to these same charges on October 6, 2017.
The evidence presented at trial showed that Thomas and James Thompson robbed People’s Community Bank in Plain, Wis., on October 7, 2014. Thompson testified during the trial about how he and Thomas jointly committed the robbery.
Based on witness testimony, Thomas forced the bank vice president to open the vault while Thompson held two bank tellers at gunpoint. After obtaining cash from the vault and the teller drawers, Thomas and Thompson ordered the three bank employees to the back of the bank, sprayed pepper spray in their eyes, and ordered them to kneel with their heads on the floor.
At today’s sentencing, Judge Conley noted that Thomas, “chose at age 40 to do a crime that endangered everyone involved and took a mental and physical toll on the victims.” Judge Conley also observed that Thomas was a career criminal with a 20-year criminal history who, at age 40, “graduated to a very serious crime when others usually do not at that age.” Judge Conley added that Thomas was a defendant that presents a real danger to others.
The charges against Thomas and Thompson are the result of an investigation by the Sauk County Sheriff’s Department and Federal Bureau of Investigation. The prosecution of this case is being handled by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Daniel Graber and Corey Stephan.