Convicted bank robber sentenced to 9 years in prison in 3 Madison crimes

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MADISON, Wis. — A Portage man was sentenced to prison Friday in connection with three bank robberies in Madison last September.

The office of United States Attorney for the Western District of Wisconsin Scott C. Blader said in a news release Monday that 37-year-old Ramon Howard was sentenced by U.S. District Judge William Conley to nine years in federal prison.

Howard pleaded guilty to the charges on June 25, 2020.

According to the release, Howard robbed a bank and two credit unions in Madison over the course of two weeks in September 2019. He robbed the Associated Bank on East Towne Boulevard on Sept. 13, the Summit Credit Union on Thierer Road on Sept. 16, and the UW Credit Union on Northport Drive on Sept. 26.

After the UW Credit Union robbery, Howard and his co-defendant Antonio Rowe left in a vehicle, authorities said. Rowe drove at high speeds through residential neighborhoods, striking other vehicles and eventually crashing on East Washington Avenue. Howard and Rowe both ran on foot but were apprehended by Madison police. Howard had the stolen cash.

During sentencing, Conley noted that Howard has spent his adult life incarcerated or under supervision, Blader’s office said. At 15, Howard was prosecuted as an adult for robbing and assaulting an elderly man. Conley said that Howard frightened and traumatized the bank tellers, particularly in the last robbery where Howard threatened to kill them. Conley said these were serious offenses and that Howard would be held accountable for this “indefensible conduct.”

According to the release, Howard thanked the police department for how they handled his arrest, saying that it could have ended much worse.

Rowe has pleaded guilty to committing the Sept. 13 and Sept. 26 robberies with Howard, and to robbing the BMO Harris Bank on Sherman Avenue on Sept. 10, 2019. Rowe will be sentenced by Conley on Oct. 20.