The man accused of robbing a Pine River bank Dec. 22 will face federal charges.
A federal grand jury has indicted Jeffrey Ross, 41, Ironton, on a charge of bank robbery and two charges of robbery of a motor vehicle.
Ross was arrested after allegedly robbing the U.S. Bank in Pine River. According to the federal indictment, Ross is accused of using a pellet gun to rob $1,241 from the bank.
Following the alleged bank robbery, Ross led officers from several law enforcement agencies on a 45-minute pursuit through Cass and Crow Wing counties.
During the pursuit Ross is accused of intentionally ramming Crosslake Police Chief Robert Hartman's squad, stealing two vehicles at gunpoint and attempting to force his way into a group home.
The indictment, returned by a federal grand jury Feb. 23, was sealed pending scheduling of Ross' court appearance, said Karen Bailey, media coordinator for the U.S. Attorney's Office in Minneapolis. It was unsealed Wednesday as Ross was scheduled to appear March 18 in Duluth before U.S. Magistrate Judge Raymond Erickson.
Cass County Attorney Earl Maus said in light of the federal indictment of Ross, he would not be filing any charges in the matter.
"At this point I'm comfortable with the federal government handling the matter," Maus said. "Anything I would do from this point on would be a duplicate effort."
In Crow Wing County District Court, Ross has been charged with two counts of felony first-degree aggravated robbery, two counts of felony second-degree assault with a dangerous weapon, one count of felon in possession of a firearm and two counts of felony fleeing a police officer in connection with the Dec. 22 bank robbery.
Ross also faces a charge from a separate federal indictment of being a felon in possession of a firearm stemming from a Sept. 14 burglary in Crosslake. That charge carried a mandatory minimum of 15 years in prison, the U.S. Attorney's Office in Minneapolis reported.
Ross is being held without bail in the custody of the U.S. Marshals Service in Superior, Wis., in the Douglas County Jail.
Ross has five previous convictions in Minnesota, including four felony convictions. He was sentenced to prison terms four times. In 1986 in Crow Wing County he was convicted of misdemeanor theft; in 1994 he was convicted in McLeod County on a felony sexual offense, for which he was sentenced to 18 months in prison; in 1996 he was convicted in McLeod County for felony second-degree assault with a dangerous weapon, for which he was sentenced to 36 months in prison; in 1997 he was convicted in Nicollet County for aggravated robbery, for which he was sentenced to 88 months in prison; and in 2003 he was convicted in Stearns County for felony theft, for which he was sentenced to 19 months in prison.
MATT ERICKSON can be reached at email@example.com or 855-5857.
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