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SD man convicted of New England bank robbery

BISMARCK - A federal jury has found a South Dakota man charged in a 2012 bank robbery in New England guilty on Thursday on multiple charges related to the crime.

In U.S. District Court in Bismarck, Colt D. Schneider, 19, of Rapid City, S.D., was found guilty of one charge of bank robbery and one count of carrying a firearm during and in relation to a crime of violence by a federal jury, according to a release from the Department of Justice.

Schneider and Johnner Joe Ward Jr. were accused of robbing American Bank Center in New England on Oct. 18, 2012.

According to court records: Two men wearing black ski masks and carrying guns entered the bank at approximately 8:20 a.m. After obtaining money from a bank employee, the two men fled the scene, but the Rapid City Police Department was able to identify Schneider from video taken from a New England gas station prior to the robbery.

After investigating, authorities discovered that Scheider and Ward had been working for a Rapid City construction company and had worked on a job in New England "a few months" prior to the robbery. Ward was arrested Nov. 2 in Midland, Texas, and Schneider was arrested Nov. 10 in Sarasota, Fla.

Ward pleaded guilty to charges of bank robbery and carrying a firearm during and in relation to a crime of violence in February and is scheduled to be sentenced Monday. Sentencing for Schneider has been scheduled for Nov. 15 in U.S. District Court in Bismarck.

The charge of bank robbery carries a statutory maximum penalty of 20 years in federal prison and a $250,000 fine, while the firearm charge carries a statutory maximum term of life in prison and a $250,000 fine, according to the DOJ.

The case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, along with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, North Dakota Bureau of Criminal Investigation, Hettinger County Sheriff's Department, North Dakota Highway Patrol, Dickinson Police Department, Bismarck Police Department, along with a number of other agencies.

Bryan Horwath
A Wisconsin native, Horwath has been covering news in the Oil Patch of North Dakota since 2012. Horwath currently serves as the senior agriculture and political reporter for The Dickinson Press and, despite the team's tendency to always let him down, remains a diehard Minnesota Vikings fan.
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