A Wichita man pleaded guilty Monday to helping his brother rob a Commerce Bank branch in March
In his plea, Justin W. Cooper, 24, admitted that on March 16, he drove his brother, Lessie Cooper, to the bank’s branch at 1701 S. Broadway, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.
Lessie Cooper went into the bank, jumped the counter and pointed a 9 mm carbine rifle at tellers. As Lessie Cooper was getting back in the car with the stolen money, dye packs exploded, surrounding him in a red mist. A nearby Wichita police officer saw the dye packs explode.
The officer chased the Coopers’ car to the intersection of Clark and Silver. Justin Cooper immediately surrendered. Lessie Cooper ran through a residential neighborhood and hid in a residence at 2131 S. Silver. Police found him hiding under a bed at the residence and arrested him.
Justin Cooper is set for sentencing Jan. 7. He faces a maximum penalty of 20 years and a fine up to $250,000. Lessie Cooper, who is from Fort Worth, Texas, pleaded guilty to bank robbery in June and was sentenced in September to 160 months to federal prison.