Portage man sentenced to federal prison for bank robberies

Published: Sep. 21, 2020 at 10:27 AM CDT
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MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) - A 37-year-old Portage man learned his fate Friday after pleading guilty in a trio of robberies at Madison financial institutions during a two-week span last September.

According to the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Ramon Howard was sentenced to nine years in a federal prison. He had pleaded guilty in late June to three bank robbery charges: the Associated Bank on East Towne Blvd. on Sept. 13, the Summit Credit Union on Theirer Road on Sept. 16, and the UW Credit Union on Northport Drive on Sept. 26.

U.S. Attorney Scott Blader added, during sentencing, the judge pointed out Howard has spent his entire adult life either in prison or under the court’s supervision. It started, Blader said, when a then-15-year-old Howard robbed and assaulted an elderly man.

The judge also noted that Howard had “frightened and traumatized the bank tellers," Blader continued, especially in the final robbery when the defendant threatened to kill them. It was after that last robbery that Howard and his alleged accomplice, Antonio Rowe, were captured.

With Rowe behind the wheel, the pair sped through residential neighborhoods, where they crashed into other vehicles, before eventually crashing themselves on East Washington Ave., the U.S. Attorney’s Office recounted. They both were later caught by officers with the Madison Police Dept., with Howard still in possession of the cash.

During his allocution, Howard noted the officers' behavior during his arrest, saying that the incident could have ended much worse.

Rowe, for his part, has already pleaded guilty to the Associated Bank and UW Credit Union robberies, as well as another one at the BMO Harris Bank on Sherman Ave., on Sept. 10. He is set to be sentenced on October 20.

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