WALKER, Mich. (WOOD) - The FBI had two armed robbery suspects under surveillance in Ravenna before last Thursday's bank robbery -- the robbery that led to a chase that killed a police officer and ended with a deadly shootout, police told Target 8.
The question now is: Exactly when?
When Target 8 asked Muskegon County Sheriff Dean Roesler Monday morning whether he'd heard that FBI agents were conducting surveillance of the suspects on the day of the robbery, he responded: "That's the information I have."
Roesler told Target 8 he didn't know how many agents were involved, saying only, "The FBI." He said he had questions for the FBI, including whether they were there when the bank was robbed and why they didn't tell his department about a surveillance operation in his county.
Later, after he objected to the initial Target 8 report, he said that while he'd "heard" they were watching them that day, he had not confirmed it with the FBI. "What did I confirm?" Roesler asked repeatedly.
He went on to say he "had the same information you guys had and I'm looking to meet with the FBI to get it confirmed."
"I want to know what they knew when and how they knew it," he said.
He initially told Target 8 he was headed to a meeting with Michigan State Police Monday morning to learn more about what went on before the Thursday morning robbery of the ChoiceOne Bank in Ravenna.
But, he said Monday afternoon, he hasn't been able to get answers.
Roesler's brother, Michigan State Police Lt. David Roesler, on Monday told Target 8 he spoke with FBI offficials about the surveillance. They told him they had followed the suspect's car into Ravenna, but on a previous day. He said he had no knowledge about a surveillance operation on the day of the robbery.
Muskegon County Prosecutor Tony Tague also told Target 8 he'd heard the FBI was in Ravenna when the bank was robbed, but he also was trying to learn more details.
In a Monday story, the Muskegon Chronicle reported that State Police on Thursday, the day of the robbery, said that "FBI agents happened to be in the area" and pursued the getaway car after the robbery.
FBI spokeswoman Sandra Berchtold said the agency had no comment.
"As we fall under the Department of Justice and FBI policy, we cannot comment on an ongoing investigation," she said.
The local FBI office had confirmed earlier it had developed Kris Cheyne and Derryl Lafave as suspects in a pair of bank robberies in Moline.
The Ravenna robbery led to a 20-minute chase that covered parts of three counties. The suspects ran over and killed Walker Police Officer Trevor Slot as he was preparing to lay down stop sticks near I-96 and 8th Avenue in Ottawa County.
Police then killed the suspects in a shootout.
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