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Friday, May 17, 2024 | Back issues
Courthouse News Service Courthouse News Service

Organic Farmer Goes Bad, Robs Banks

TACOMA, Wash. (CN) - An organic farmer using the alias Patrick Henry admitted he robbed banks in two states using fake bombs. Michael John Fenter told tellers in Washington and California that he "represented an organization that was angry about how the government was spending 'bail-out' money and that he intended to take the money and give it to people who needed it," according to his plea agreement.

Fenter told the tellers he was stealing money for "the cause" and that "the robbery was not about the bank, but about a fight against the government," prosecutors said.

When he was arrested, Fenter claimed his name was Patrick Henry.

"He had covered his fingertips with a glue-type material to prevent deposit of fingerprints, which also prevented officers from taking his inked fingerprints," according to the complaint.

During most of his robberies, Fenter claimed he had a bomb and threatened to detonate it if the teller called the police, according to the plea agreement. Prosecutors say he stole more than $86,000 before being arrested on Oct. 8, 2009 after robbing a Bank of America in Tacoma.

Fenter admitted he robbed banks in Seattle, Tacoma, San Francisco and Sacramento. He pleaded guilty to three counts of bank robbery, one count of armed bank robbery and firearm possession. He will be sentenced on June 14.

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