Evansville – United States Attorney Josh J. Minkler announced on Thursday that a Bridgeport, Illinois, man has been convicted of credit union robbery, carrying a firearm in furtherance of a crime of violence, and being a felon in possession of a firearm. Elmer F. Wiman, 68, was convicted following a jury trial before United States District Court Judge Larry J. McKinney, in Evansville. The investigation which led to the charges against Wiman was a cooperative effort by the Vanderburgh County Sheriff’s Department, the Indiana State Police, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives.
“Threatening employees in a federally protected financial institution with a handgun will not be tolerated,” said Minkler. “Reducing violent crime in our communities is one of my office’s highest priorities.”
Government attorneys presented evidence at trial that on March 17, 2015, at approximately 1:00 p.m., law enforcement officers were dispatched to the Heritage Federal Credit Union, 331 E. Boonville-New Harmony Road, on a report of a bank robbery. Witnesses described the suspect as a white male with a denim hat, denim clothing, and white gloves. Witnesses advised that the suspect was armed with a handgun and demanded the tellers to provide him with the Credit Union’s money while displaying a handgun. He then put the currency provided in a cooler and drove away in a gray Ford Taurus.
Indiana State Police troopers received the description of the vehicle and the suspect and conducted a traffic stop of a white male driving a vehicle that matched that description. The vehicle pulled into a gas station in Haubstadt, Indiana, a few miles immediately north of the robbery location. While conducting the traffic stop, troopers saw cash and a handgun inside the vehicle. The driver of the vehicle, identified as Elmer Floyd Wiman, was taken into custody. The vehicle contained a handgun, cooler, a hat like the one worn by the robber, white gloves, and approximately $3,091 in United States currency, nearly the exact amount believed to have been stolen from the Credit Union.
Wiman was taken into custody and transported to the Vanderburgh County Sheriff’s Department Command Post and interviewed. Wiman admitted that he robbed the Credit Union in order to get money to cover bills. Wiman reported that he planned the robbery over the previous two weeks, including conducting surveillance of the location before the robbery. The car Wiman was driving is owned by his former wife. She allowed Wiman to borrow the car after Wiman told her he needed it to visit a friend. Wiman switched the license plates on the car prior to the robbery and placed tape over the make and model identifiers on the car to avoid being caught.
According to Assistant United States Attorneys Kyle Sawa and Todd Shellenbarger who are prosecuting this case for the government, Wiman faces a term of imprisonment of up to 20 years for robbery of the credit union, up to a 10 year term of imprisonment for being a felon in possession of a firearm, and up to life in prison for use of a firearm during a crime of violence. A sentencing hearing will be set before Judge McKinney.