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  • Writer's pictureDennis McCaslin

Plea agreement calls for eight year sentence for Tulsa bank robber

A man who robbed two Tulsa banks, claiming to have a bomb and firearms, pleaded guilty Monday in federal court.

Thomas Lawrence Dean, 51, of Tulsa, pleaded guilty to two counts of bank robbery using a dangerous weapon, conveying false information on hoaxes, and being a felon in possession of a .38 Special revolver and associated ammunition.

According to the plea agreement, the United States and the defendant agreed to a sentence of 12 years in federal prison. Chief U.S. District Judge John E. Dowdell will make the final sentencing determination at a hearing set for Jan. 5, 2021.

“Think about being the bank teller who was handed a note by a robber threatening to have a bomb or to go on a killing spree. What a terrifying experience. Thankfully, the FBI and Tulsa Police teamed up to investigate the bank robbery and arrested Thomas Dean,” said U.S. Attorney Trent Shores. “I am pleased to see Mr. Dean admit his guilt and accept responsibility for his actions, and I am thankful for the work of Assistant U.S. Attorney Robert Raley who pursued justice for the victims in this case.”

In his plea agreement, Dean admitted to robbing an International Bank of Commerce (IBC) on July 1, 2019. Dean stated that he disguised himself and carried a black bag containing an apparatus that looked like an explosive device. According to court documents, Dean approached a teller and handed her a note demanding money. In the note,

Dean indicated that he was in possession of a bomb and firearm. He left the bank with a total of $500 then discarded the black bag with the fake explosive device and two BB guns inside.

On July 10, 2019, Dean also robbed an Arvest Bank, handing the teller a note that stated, “This is a robbery….Don’t make this a killing spree.” Dean also indicated in the note that he had a firearm. The defendant left the bank with $1,250 but was later located by Tulsa Police Officers.

The Tulsa Police Department and FBI conducted the investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorney Robert T. Raley is prosecuting the case. AUSA Raley is the National Security Anti-Terrorism (ATAC) Prosecutor for the U.S. Attorney’s Office in the Northern District of Oklahoma.

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