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Ex-cop who robbed bank gets 9 years

MILWAUKEE (AP) — A former Mukwonago police officer who robbed a bank in 2010 while he was still on the force was sentenced this week to nine years in federal prison.

Alvin Brook, 44, had walked into an M&I Bank, ordered the three employees into the vault area and pointed his department-issued Glock handgun at their heads, prosecutors said. He made off with $54,000.

The robbery went unsolved until last year when authorities, acting on a tip, were able to match a crime-scene fingerprint to him, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported.

Brook had pleaded guilty to bank robbery and use of a gun during a robbery.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Margaret Honrath asked that he be sentenced to 10 years in prison. Brook’s defense attorney, Frank Gimbel, argued for a sentence of 7 years, 1 month, noting Brook’s steady employment and his counseling and family support.

Before sentencing, Brook apologized to the traumatized bank tellers, as well as to his family and former colleagues. He said grief over his divorce drove him to abuse painkillers, which led him to commit the crime.

But U.S. District Judge Lynn Adelman noted that few bank robbers with drug issues earn as much as Brooks did as a police officer. Adelman acknowledged Brook’s positive attributes but said he was imposing a sentence closer to prosecutors’ recommendations because of the severe impact of the crime.

One man told the judge that his wife, the bank’s supervisor that day, still suffers from emotional trauma inflicted when Brook pointed a gun at her head and threatened to kill her if she didn’t open the vault.

Witnesses told investigators the suspect appeared to have military training, and he also had some sort of walkie-talkie or scanner in his pocket, over which the victims heard “police chatter.”

Honrath noted that the crime affected the public’s trust and regard of the Mukwonago Police Department, where Brook served for 21 years. Brook was named officer of the year in 2002 and served as a student resource officer at Mukwonago High School.

Information from: Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, http://www.jsonline.com

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