OKLAHOMA CITY – Last Friday, a federal judge sentenced JOHN SCOTT BROOKS, 39, of Lawton, to serve 120 months in federal prison for a Lawton bank robbery involving a fake bomb, announced United States Attorney Robert J. Troester.
On June 3, 2020, a federal grand jury returned a two count Indictment against Brooks. Count 1 charged Brooks with bank robbery and Count 2 charged him with making a bomb threat. According to evidence presented at trial in April 2021, Brooks pulled up to the drive-through teller lane at the Southwest Oklahoma Federal Credit Union, located at 6714 West Gore Boulevard, Lawton, Oklahoma, on March 23, 2020, and he placed a fake bomb and demand note in the teller drawer. He immediately held up a device displaying timer, which was counting down. After the teller provided Brooks with bank proceeds, he took the fake bomb and drove away.
Evidence at trial further showed that Brooks attempted to get away with the robbery by creating a cover story, which included altering the appearance of his vehicle, erasing electronic information from his cell phone, and driving to another bank and then to Wichita Falls, Texas, so he could tell law enforcement he was somewhere else at the time of the robbery. Evidence at trial included testimony from the bank teller, bank surveillance footage of the robbery, a bank robbery list found at Brooks’ residence, and a vehicle image comparison analysis performed by an FBI forensic examiner, which showed Brooks changed the appearance of his vehicle immediately after the robbery. Additionally, multiple witnesses testified that they recognized Brooks in the still photo of the surveillance footage taken from the robbery.
The trial lasted two days, and the jury deliberated approximately two hours before finding Brooks guilty of one count of bank robbery.
At the sentencing, U.S. District Court Judge Scott Palk sentenced Brooks to serve 120 months in federal prison. In support of his sentence, Judge Palk cited, among other things, the serious nature of the offense, Brooks’ criminal history, and the impact the robbery had on the teller. Judge Palk also ordered Brooks to serve five years of supervised release when released from federal prison. Brooks has been detained in federal custody since April 3, 2020.
This case was the result of an investigation by the Federal Bureau Investigation’s Oklahoma City Field Office and the Lawton Police Department. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Wilson D. McGarry and Stan West prosecuted the case.
Reference is made to public filings for more information.