Lennox Credit Union robber sentenced to 15 years

A Marshalltown man was sentenced to more than 15 years in federal prison for an armed robbery in which he shot a Marshalltown police officer.

Ben Crisantos, 23, was sentenced in federal court Thursday after pleading guilty to armed bank robbery and possession of a firearm in relation to a crime of violence.

Judge Robert Pratt ordered he serve 70 months for the armed robbery charge and 120 months for the firearm charge. Both counts are to be served consecutively for a total of 190 months in prison. This sentence will be served concurrently with any state sentence.

Crisantos was charged last November after he and his accomplice, Abel A. Ramirez, 23, each carrying a gun, entered the Lennox Employees Credit Union on East Main Street.

While fleeing the scene, Crisantos allegedly shot Marshalltown Police Officer Vern Jefferson, who returned fire and hit Crisantos. Each was later treated for non-life threatening injuries.

Ramirez, also of Marshalltown, was sentenced to 14 years in federal prison in July after he pleaded guilty in April to armed bank robbery and use of a firearm in relation to a crime of violence.

Crisantos and Ramirez will now face charges with the state, said Assistant County Attorney Paul Crawford.

According to court documents, both Crisantos and Ramirez are charged with attempted murder, first-degree robbery, first-degree theft, assault while participating in a felony, willful injury, extortion and assault while causing injury to a peace officer.