A Fenton, Mo., man who pleaded guilty to the March 19 robbery of the Regions Bank in Smithton was sentenced Tuesday to five years and four months in federal prison.
A statement from Southern Illinois U.S. Attorney Stephen Wigginton’s office said Jonathan M. Ford, 38, also will be on probation for three years following his release from prison.
Ford was wearing a mask when he entered the Regions Bank branch at 406 N. Main St. in Smithton around 11:30 a.m. March 19, pointed what police later learned was a BB gun at a teller and said “I need all of your money.” The teller complied and Ford left the bank with $3,872 in cash.
Responding officers from Smithton and Freeburg initially thought Ford was still in Smithton after the robbery, so two schools and two daycares were ordered locked down while police searched the town. At 12:20 p.m., a Columbia Police officer and an Illinois State Police trooper stationed on Illinois 3 in Columbia intercepted a car that matched the description of the silver Mitsubishi witnesses said Ford drove away in following the robbery. He was arrested without incident.
Ford had all of the money from the robbery in the car with him at the time of his arrest.