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Man Pleads Guilty to January Bank Robbery in Ely

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CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa - A 51-year-old man pleaded guilty Thursday in federal court to robbing the Solon State Bank in Ely.

Robert Melton pleaded guilty to one count of bank robbery in U.S District Court. He faces up to 20 years in federal prison and a $250,000 fine.

Melton in court admitted to taking $6,751 from a bank teller by force and violence or intimidation Jan. 17. Melton admitted he handed a bank teller a note that stated he was a farmer about to lose his farm and he needed $12,000. He then told the teller “not to do anything and nothing would happen.”

Melton then placed a gray lunch box on the counter and the teller gave him the money and note, according to court documents. He then placed the money and note in the box and left.

According to court documents, a witness who was in the drive through of the bank saw the robbery happen and followed Melton in his truck as he left. The witness then called 911 and reported that she was following the suspect.

Linn County Sheriff’s deputies stopped Melton and after conducting a search recovered the $6,751, according to court records.

Sentencing hasn’t been set at this time.

l Comments: (319) 398-8318; trish.mehaffey@sourcemedia.net