On June 11, 2012 two brothers allegedly robbed a Fifth Third Bank branch in Portage; on August 6th, the men were each been sentenced to up to 12 years in prison on charges of bank robbery and felony use of a firearm. Kalamazoo County Circuit Judge Gary C. Giguere Jr. said that he was “shocked and appalled” that two brothers would commit an armed bank robbery after having little or no criminal backgrounds.
The brothers, who reportedly wore masks during the robbery, fled in a southbound direction after robbing the Portage bank at gunpoint, but were apprehended shortly thereafter. Adam and Evan Ely were caught at 8910 Portage Road by police. Adam Cyle Ely was 30 years old, his brother Evan 25 years old at the time of the robbery.
Michigan armed robbery defense attorneys know that burglary, robbery and other theft offenses are serious, particularly robbery committed using a firearm. If convicted, the accused may face a lengthy prison sentence and be saddled with a criminal record for the rest of his or her life.
The Ely brothers fled into a neighborhood nearby after dye packs in the money went off. The money had been tossed into the woods before the brothers jumped into West Lake, attempting to get away from Portage police who arrested the men after fishing them out of the lake.
Evan Ely had no previous criminal convictions and was sentenced to one to ten years for bank robbery, as well as two years to be served consecutively for felony use of a firearm. Adam Ely did have previous misdemeanor convictions; he was sentenced to 19 months to ten years in prison, along with two years consecutively for a felony firearm conviction.
Both Ely brothers could have been sentenced to life in prison, but were given lighter sentences after pleading no contest to the charges on July 16th. It is still not known whether the two men will face federal charges.
Armed robbery is serious business; a conviction can leave an individual spending his or her life behind bars. Those arrested for robbery whether armed or unarmed are urged to contact an aggressive Michigan criminal defense attorney for legal representation.