Update: Tupelo bank robbery may be solved

By PATSY R. BRUMFIELD/Daily Journal

MEMPHIS, Tenn. – A Georgia man who admits to a Cordova, Tenn., armed bank robbery, may be ready to say officially that he robbed Tupelo’s Trustmark Bank in July 2011.
Memphis police arrested Robert Thomas Shantz and Johnny Leon Harris on July 15, 2011, after a Bank of Bartlett branch in Cordoba was robbed at gunpoint.
Shantz, 33, of Georgia admitted to authorities that he started robbing banks from Georgia to Arkansas because his taxi business was in financial trouble.
Trustmark Bank on West Main Street in Tupelo was robbed July 3, 2011, and Shantz said it was his first time to carry a pistol for the task.
In Shantz’ Oct. 4 plea agreement in Memphis federal court, he agreed to plead guilty to indictments pending against him in the Northern District of Mississippi, which includes Tupelo. The case is listed as sealed in the court’s electronic documents system.
The U.S. Attorney’s Office in Oxford did not respond to Daily Journal inquiries about whether this indictment pertains to the Tupelo robbery.
Shantz also agreed to admit to an eastern Arkansas indictment, as well as charges to be filed in Georgia and Alabama federal court districts to be transferred to the Western Tennessee district.
Harris pleaded guilty April 4 to the Cordova robbery and was sentenced to 78 months in prison.
In exchange for his guilty pleas, Tennessee authorities agreed to drop a second count of carrying a firearm in a bank robbery, which is punishable by up to life in prison.
• Read more in Thursday’s Daily Journal.