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Tag Archive | "U.S. Attorney"

Bank robber sentenced to 151 months in federal prison 


This was the scene after bank robber Edward Ray Lucas crashed his car into another vehicle after a bank robbery in Sand Lake on August 18, 2016.

Acting U.S. Attorney Andrew Birge announced on Thursday, August 17, that U.S. District Judge Paul L. Maloney sentenced Lucas to 151 months in federal prison, and also ordered Lucas to serve three years of supervised release following his release from prison and pay a special assessment of $100.

On August 18, 2016, Edward Lucas robbed the Independent Bank of Sand Lake, Michigan. Lucas handed a manila envelope to a teller with these words on it: “This is a Robbery. 100s, 50s, 20s. No die packs.” The teller gave Lucas $5,550, and he fled in a silver Chevy Impala.

A detailed description of the suspect and his vehicle were given to dispatchers. His description was relayed to all police units in the northern part of Kent County as well as to Montcalm County dispatch. Twenty minutes later, a vehicle that matched the description of the suspect’s vehicle was spotted on 17 Mile Road in Cedar Springs. A Kent County Sheriff deputy was able to see the driver, who also matched the description that had been broadcasted. The vehicle then ramped onto southbound US-131 as the deputy followed. Once a second deputy caught up to the first, they made a traffic stop, but the suspect then sped away, continuing south on US-131. Police said the vehicle reached speeds up to 90 mph before slowing down and exiting on Post Dr. The suspect vehicle turned onto Post Drive heading toward Belmont.

A very short time later the suspect’s vehicle appeared to cross into oncoming traffic, side swiping a Jeep Liberty before hitting a second vehicle head on. The suspect’s vehicle then left the roadway and rolled two or three times before coming to a rest.

As deputies approached the suspect’s vehicle, the engine compartment burst into flames. Deputies were able to pull the suspect from the vehicle and use an extinguisher to extinguish the fire. They also found the demand note and $5,550 in cash in the vehicle.

A Michigan State Police Sergeant, who saw the crash, said that it looked like the suspect appeared to deliberately stray across the centerline to crash into the other vehicle.

Two individuals from the vehicle that was hit head on were treated at the scene and released. One person from the Jeep Liberty was transported to the hospital with minor injuries. The suspect was transported with much more severe injuries to Butterworth Hospital, where it was determined that he broke his leg, injured his neck, and suffered a severe contusion to his chest.

Judge Maloney noted that Lucas seriously risked the lives of others in fleeing from the robbery. Judge Maloney also noted Lucas had a high risk of returning to bank robbery someday, given that he had two prior bank robbery convictions in Michigan state courts. He was previously convicted of committing two bank robberies in 1999.

The Kent County Sheriff’s Office, Michigan State Police, and Federal Bureau of Investigation jointly investigated Lucas’s case. Assistant U.S. Attorney Davin M. Reust prosecuted it.

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Veteran leader takes the helm of U.S. attorney’s office 


 

Grand Rapids—Andrew Byerly Birge assumed the duties of Acting U.S. Attorney by operation of law following U.S. Attorney Patrick Miles, Jr.’s resignation last Friday at noon.

Birge was serving until then as the First Assistant, the senior-most management position in the office. Birge had held the First Assistant position for the last nine and a half years. U.S. Attorney Charles Gross first tapped him for the role in May of 2007, under then-President George W. Bush’s administration. U.S. Attorneys Donald A. Davis and Patrick Miles each subsequently asked him to continue serving in that capacity. A First Assistant functions as the chief advisor to the U.S. Attorney and oversees the office’s civil and criminal litigation as well as its administrative operations.

Miles said of Birge: “I know I am leaving the office in good hands.” Miles described Birge as “extremely knowledgeable” and a person of “impeccable integrity.”

Birge has been with the U.S. Attorney’s Office for over sixteen years. Prior to assuming senior management responsibilities, he oversaw the office’s appellate practice and handled all manner of criminal cases. He began his legal career as a law clerk to the late Chief U.S. District Court Judge Richard A. Enslen, in Kalamazoo, Michigan. Prior to joining the U.S. Attorney’s Office, he was an Associate for several years with the law firm of Jenner & Block in Chicago, Illinois.

Birge expects to serve as the Acting U.S. Attorney until President Donald Trump nominates and the U.S. Senate confirms a successor U.S. Attorney. “I take great pride in undertaking this opportunity. This office has remarkably dedicated and talented attorneys and staff with an outstanding record of holding wrongdoers accountable and vindicating the interests of the United States. I plan to continue that tradition of excellence in the pursuit of justice.”

Birge obtained his law degree from the Columbia University School of Law, where he was a Harlan Fiske Stone Scholar. He obtained his Bachelor of Arts degree from Carleton College, where he graduated cum laude and with Distinction as a history major.

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