The man accused of robbing a Lake Hallie bank on July 15 is expected to enter a plea in federal court.
Jason G. Burgett, 43, of Milwaukee was charged in Chippewa County Court with armed robbery with threat of force, robbery of a financial institution, fleeing or eluding an officer and second-degree recklessly endangering safety.
However, Chippewa County district attorney Wade Newell dropped the charges last week. Newell said he dismissed the matter locally so Burgett could plea in federal court. Newell added that Burgett is now in federal custody.
Burgett previously served a nine-year prison sentence for robbing a bank in Wisconsin in 1998, and he’s a suspect in a string of other bank robberies.
The armed robbery occurred at 9:37 a.m. July 15 at Citizens Community Bank, 2727 Commercial Blvd.
Burgett is accused of entering the bank, wearing a black mask, and holding a BB gun, but the tellers said it appeared to be a real gun.
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People in the bank observed the type of vehicle the man got into and fled the area. Lake Hallie detective Adam Myers arrived in an unmarked police vehicle. Myers located a car that matched the suspect’s vehicle, and he followed the car. Once the car got on Highway 29, Myers attempted to pull over the vehicle.
“The vehicle then increased its speed and did not stop,” wrote Lake Hallie Police Chief Cal Smokowicz in a press release. “A pursuit was initiated at 9:44 a.m. The pursuit left Highway 29 and continued upon county highways in the town of Lafayette. The pursuit was joined by deputies of the Chippewa County Sheriff’s Office and ended at 10:03 when the suspect’s vehicle pulled over and the occupant surrendered.”
The chase reached speeds in excess of 100 mph, and officers found a black duffle bag with the money taken from the bank inside it. They also found the black mask.
Newell said that Burgett also is linked to three other bank robberies in Wisconsin and Michigan.
On Oct. 9, 1996, Burgett was sentenced by the state of Wisconsin to a term of imprisonment of three years and six months, online court records show. On Feb. 4, 1998, Burgett escaped from state custody.
On April 13, 1998, federal authorities arrested Burgett and charged him with committing two acts of armed bank robbery. Burgett pleaded guilty, pursuant to a plea agreement, to one count of armed bank robbery in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Wisconsin; on Oct. 14, 1998, the court sentenced him to a 108-month term of imprisonment to be served consecutive to his state sentence, online records state.