Kapaa bank robbers plead guilty

HONOLULU — One of the men involved in the Kapaa New Year’s Eve bank robbery could spend the next 25 years behind bars.

Brandon Hartberg, 26, pleaded guilty to armed bank robbery last week before a federal judge for robbing the Kapaa Bank of Hawaii branch with a rifle on Dec. 31 and taking more than $1,000 worth of marked bills from a teller.

Hartberg faces up to 25 years imprisonment, plus a five-year term of supervised release.

The guilty plea comes after Hartberg accepted an agreement with the United States’ Attorney’s Office to not seek additional indictments on any of Hartberg’s arrests including one on Nov. 10 and another on Nov. 23.

It also said the Kauai Office of the Prosecuting Attorney has also agreed to not seek charges for those arrests.

Hartberg’s accomplice, Matthew Akihiko Rose, 26, pleaded guilty to accessory after the fact and faces 10 years in prison.

Rose is said to have waited in the getaway car and driven Hartberg to Kanaele Road where Kauai Police eventually stopped the two, police said.

Inside the car, police found Hartberg’s wallet, the air rifle used in the bank robbery wrapped in a towel or piece of clothing and a pair of pants and shoes, according to court records.

There is no minimum term of imprisonment for both armed bank robbery and accessory after the fact. The two each face a fine up of $250,000.

Kauai Police Chief Darryl Perry acknowledged the hardworking officers in his department and said it was a team effort that paid off.

“The collaborative response by patrol officers, detectives and our Air 1 pilot following the bank robbery led to the timely arrest of both suspects involved and brought a sense of relief to our community,” Perry said.

Rose will be sentenced Sept. 22. Hartberg will be sentenced on Sept. 29.

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