A man with a history of robbing banks was sentenced Thursday to 12½ years in federal prison for an August, 2016 heist in northern Kent County that ended when he crashed his getaway car.
Edward Ray Lucas admitted to robbing the Independent Bank in Sand Lake on Aug. 18, 2016. He suffered multiple injuries in a crash on Post Drive NE while fleeing police.
U.S. District Court Judge Paul L. Maloney on Thursday ordered that Lucas serve three years on supervised release once he gets out of prison.
Lucas “truly regrets his actions and regrets what he did,’’ his attorney wrote in a sentencing memorandum. “He admits that he should have avoided drug use and he should have worked harder to find legal ways to pay his bills.’’
Federal prosecutors asked for a harsh term, calling Lucas a career offender.
Lucas, 38, was barely out of his teen years when he was arrested for robbing two West Michigan banks. At the time, he was addicted to drugs and owed money to drug dealers, court records show.
“The drug dealers demanded that he rob a bank and threatened him with hurting his son if he did not pay them,’’ according to court documents.
The 1999 bank robberies in Montcalm and Mecosta counties earned Lucas concurrent prison sentences of between 26 months and 10 years.
After getting out of state prison for the bank robbery convictions, Lucas found himself back in trouble in Dec. 2001 when he was arrested for assaulting a woman in Grand Rapids.
He was on parole at the time. Lucas pleaded guilty to assault with intent to commit great bodily harm and was sentenced in May, 2002 to between 6¼ and 10 years in prison.
Lucas was discharged from parole in March, 2011 and had been living in the Sparta area.
Investigators say Lucas entered the Independent Bank at 5 Third St. NE in Sand Lake about 4:30 p.m. on Aug. 18, 2016 wearing a baseball hat, dark sunglasses and a brown shirt.
“The robber handed the teller a manila envelope that had words to the following effect: ‘100s, 50s, 20s. No dye packs,’’’ an FBI agent wrote in a criminal complaint.
The teller handed over $5,500 from her teller drawers. The robber took the envelope and cash and fled through the bank’s south doors. He was seen getting into a silver Chevy Impala, court records show.
When a Kent County sheriff’s deputy tried to stop his vehicle in Cedar Springs, police say Lucas fled on southbound U.S. 131, exited at Post Drive NE and eventually crashed.
A Michigan State Police detective who witnessed the crash said it appeared as though his car deliberately strayed across the centerline to collide head-on with a westbound car.
The accident involved three cars; Lucas was the most seriously hurt. His injuries included a concussion, five broken ribs, a cracked sternum and a shattered left wrist.