Montana Motorcycle Bandit Pleads Guilty To Knocking Over Four Banks
A Bigfork, Montana man accused of being “the motorcycle bandit,” plead guilty in federal court this week to robbing four banks.
Steven Dee Norred, 56, robbed one of the banks twice and complicated his legal problems by using a gun during one of the robberies.
“You face quite severe consequences,” U.S. Magistrate Jeremiah Lynch told Norred.
A customer at one of the banks Norred is accused of robbing, Glacier Bank, followed the rider outside following a stickup last September which lead to Norred’s arrest.
Once a contractor, Norred and his wife filed for bankruptcy in December 2009 and that filing said the pair were more than $2 million in debt. It also required Norred to surrender $1 million in property and the debts were discharged in March 2010 some six months before the first “motorcycle bandit” robbery.
Norred now faces prison terms of up to 25 years in prison and a $250,000 fine – for each count. The firearms charge carries a mandatory seven-year prison term and the possibility of a life term which could be served consecutively to all the other penalties.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Tim Racicot said that part of a plea agreement calls for Norred to repay $88,012 or the amount taken during the five bank robberies. Authorities say Norred wore a helmet and fled on his motorcycle or a four-wheeler.
Norred plead guilty to knocking over the First Interstate Bank in Sept. 2010, Glacier Bank in Nov 2010, First Valley Bank in April, 2011, Mullan Trail Bank in May of 2011, and Glacier Bank for the second time in Sept., 2011.
Norred’s attorney, Michael Donahoe, told the judge “there’s a mixture of regret and misunderstanding on Mr. Norred’s part. In certain circumstances, he feels he wasn’t acting in a violent way.”
The prosecution and bank employees say Norred lifted his shirt to show a gun in a holster and told two tellers hand over thee cash in their drawers. The prosecution added that Norred asked one bank customer if he wanted some money during one of the robberies. It was that customer who followed Norred from the bank and reported his license number to the police. Norred was arrested later that evening.
Sentencing has been set for June 28.