Convicted Iowa City bank robber gets 30-year federal prison sentence

Martin had pulled loaded handgun on officers, records indicate

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A man who robbed three Iowa City banks and led officers on an hourlong chase in April 2012 that forced eight schools into lockdown has been sentenced to 30 years in federal prison.

Eric Martin, 35, was sentenced Monday on charges of armed bank robbery, possessing a firearm in furtherance of a crime of violence and being a felon in possession of a firearm. Following his time in prison, Martin will serve a five-year term of supervised release, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office in the Southern District of Iowa.

He also was ordered to pay $53,369 in restitution to the banks he victimized.

According to police and court documents, on April 23, 2012, Martin entered Hills Bank and Trust of Iowa City wearing a mask and carrying a loaded semi-automatic 9 mm handgun. He pointed the gun at the tellers, demanded money, and took about $23,295, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

Martin then fled the scene on a dirt bike, and led law enforcement on a lengthy pursuit through residential neighborhoods, where he was eventually apprehended with the stolen money.

Iowa City police have reported that Martin tried to pull his loaded handgun on officers as they chased him on foot. Two Iowa City officers suffered minor injuries in the pursuit, according to police.

In the six months before that robbery, Martin also robbed the U.S. Bank and the Midwest One Bank in Iowa City in similar fashion, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

Martin has a long criminal history in Iowa, starting with his first felony conviction in June 1997. He previously had been sentenced to prison – one 15-year sentence came after Martin was convicted of conspiracy.

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