Lilbourn robbery suspects charged in federal court

Saturday, August 25, 2007

The three local men charged with the Aug. 17 bank robbery in Lilbourn, Mo., had their initial appearance in federal court Friday.

Keith D. Moon, 18, Darnell W. Moon, 19, both of Cape Girar-deau, and Lance L. Lewis, 21, of Sikeston, Mo., appeared Friday morning before federal judge Lewis M. Blanton.

The government filed charges against the three suspects for "aiding and abetting one another" in the armed robbery they allegedly committed at the Bank of New Madrid.

According to the federal grand jury indictment, the $12,000 taken from the bank was insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp.

They face a maximum penalty of 25 years in prison or $250,000 in fines if convicted.

The New Madrid County prosecuting attorney's office has already charged the three men with armed criminal action and first degree robbery.

Federal prosecutors also filed a second count against Darnell Moon for conspiracy to interfere with interstate commerce by robbery.

The charges were filed in connection with a series of bomb threats called into Cape Girardeau public facilities, which turned out to be part of a conspiracy to pull off a bank heist locally.

According to the indictment, Moon conspired to rob Alliance Bank at 217 N. Kingshighway.

He allegedly purchased a pellet pistol for use in the robbery and drove to the parking lot of the bank to conduct surveillance, but the number of people around dissuaded them from committing the crime.

The three then allegedly drove to Lilbourn to commit the actual robbery, according to a probable-cause statement written by Dennis Young of the Lilbourn police department.

Several hours later, Lilbourn police chased down all three suspects and placed them in custody at the New Madrid County Jail.

Federal prosecutor Catherine L. Hanaway and assistant prosecutor Larry H. Ferrell filed a motion for pretrial detention and hearing to determine whether they should be detained without bond.

Hanaway and Ferrell argued that all three defendants were charged with violent crimes and posed threats to the community, as well as flight risks, and that there was no other way to reasonably ensure that they would show for their next court appearance.

Judge Blanton set the detention hearing for 2 p.m. Tuesday.

bdicosmo@semissourian.com

335-6611, extension 245

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