UPDATE, Feb. 13, 3 p.m.: Anthony Ray Shindler, a 43-year-old Bothell man, was sentenced Thursday in federal court to five years in prison for robbing at gunpoint the Juanita Branch of the Bank of America.
Shindler will also serve three years of supervised release and must pay $1,703 in restitution for entering the bank with a pistol on Aug. 5, forcing tellers and customer to lie on the floor and escaping with about $3,000. He pleaded guilty in October.
U.S. District Judge Thomas S. Zilly told him that “after reading the letters from the victims in this case, you can’t help but know that the fear and jeopardy the victims felt was devastating,” according to a press release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office for Western Washington.
The FBI apprehended Shindler after surveillance photos of him appeared on Kirkland Patch and other media, prompting a tip from an employee of the Totem Lake QFC store, where Shindler worked as a meat cutter.
Federal prosecutors are recommending a six-year prison sentence for a 43-year-old Bothell man who pleaded guilty to the August armed robbery of the Juanita Village Bank of America branch.
Anthony R. Shindler, a meat cutter at a Kirkland QFC store, pleaded guilty in November to one count of armed robbery and one count of possessing a firearm and will be sentenced before U.S. District Court Judge Thomas Zilly on Feb. 16.
Shindler has been free since an appearance in August before a federal magistrate, who freed him on the condition that he wear a location monitor on his ankle.
Documents filed during a sentencing hearing Jan. 22 indicate Shindler also robbed a Woodinville 7-Eleven store of $45 last summer, just before the Aug. 5 bank robbery, in which he stole $3,563. The documents also show that most of the money was recovered after FBI agents arrested Shindler at his work place.
However, according to a sentencing memorandum filed by Shindler’s public defender, before the robberies Shindler had never been in serious trouble, had pulled himself up from a difficult childhood with a single mother, trained to work as a meat-cutter and held a steady job for years. He had also survived a bout with cancer.
The brief indicates Shindler’s troubles began when he and his wife bought a home in 2008 via a large mortgage and soon began having difficulties making the payments. Shindler apparently turned to gambling in an effort to make money, compounding his troubles, leading to depression and finally, the robberies.
In a memorandum filed with the court, Shindler apologized and noted that the gun was not loaded and was inoperable.
Shindler’s defender, Peter Avenia, noted in his memorandum to the court that Shindler had completed several months of mental health counseling, asked for a sentence of five years and one day. Avenia also noted a plea arrangement with prosecutors stipulating a sentencing range of five to seven years, noting the charges carry a mandatory minimum sentence of five years.
Contacted by phone, Avenia said he had no comment.