Former Texas Police Officer Sentenced for Bank Robbery

HOUSTON—Michael E Tindall, a former sergeant with the Conroe Police Department who was convicted following a jury trial in March 2010 for the 2008 robbery of the First Bank of Conroe, has been sentenced to more than seven years in prison, United States Attorney José Angel Moreno and FBI Special Agent-in-Charge Richard C Powers announced today. At a hearing this morning, United States District Judge Melinda Harmon sentenced Tindall, 49, of Conroe, to 87 months in federal prison without parole—the maximum sentence under the applicable guideline range—to be followed by a three-year term of supervised release. In determining the sentence ultimately handed down, the court considered not only the facts surrounding the robbery but the impact of the robbery upon the lives of bank employees. Two of the bank’s tellers, who were present during the robbery on August 11, 2008, addressed the court this morning telling the court that the robbery committed by a trusted former employee and friend has left them fearful and distrustful.

“Our communities depend upon our law enforcement officers to honor their oath to enforce the law and protect our citizens,” said United States Attorney Moreno. “When an officer violates that oath by robbing a bank as Tindall, he not only violated the public order, he violated the public’s trust and the security of the employees that regarded him as a protector. Through the considerable efforts of the Conroe Police Department, the FBI and the trial team, Tindall has been held accountable and justice is served.” The sentence handed down today includes the court’s consideration of and findings that Tindall not only abused his position of trust as a police officer by using police equipment to monitor investigative efforts before and after the robbery but also his position of trust as a security guard of the very bank he robbed. Additionally, the court found that Tindall obstructed justice when he falsely testified during his trial about the use of rental car and the source of the money deposited following the robbery.

Evidence at trial proved that on August 11, 2008, Tindall walked into the lobby at the First Bank of Conroe, where he had worked a second job for several years as the bank’s security guard, wearing an opaque motorcycle helmet. Tindall jumped the teller counter and screamed “bottom drawers,” demanding that the tellers give him large straps of cash. Within seconds of entering the bank, Tindall was able to take approximately $28,000 from the tellers. Tindall exited the bank leaving the scene in a silver Chevrolet Malibu which was later determined to be a rental car.

Bank records showed that an hour after robbing the bank, Tindall deposited $5,000 cash into his bank account at a different bank. Thirty minutes after the robbery, Tindall returned the rented, silver Chevrolet Malibu in which he fled the bank to the rental car agency. The use of “insider” bank terms during the robbery along with the recognition of Tindall’s voice by several bank employees lead investigators to Tindall and his home armed with a search warrant where investigating agents found an opaque motorcycle helmet like the one worn during the robbery. Tindall, who was immediately remanded into federal custody following the return of the guilty verdicts, will remain in the custody of the United States Marshals Service pending transfer to a Bureau of Prisons facility to be designated in the in the near future where he will serve out his prison sentence.

In addition, the court has ordered Tindall to pay restitution to the First Bank of Conroe. The FBI Conroe Resident Agency along with the Conroe Police Department investigated the case leading to the charges and subsequent conviction of Tindall. Assistant United States Attorneys Kebharu H Smith and Joseph Porto prosecuted the case.

Published on: 2010-09-25

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