Man pleads guilty to federal charge for 2021 bank robbery

A Waite Park man has pleaded guilty to armed robbery of a bank in connection to a 2021 incident in St. Cloud.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office says 38-year-old Ray Reco McNeary entered the plea Friday and will be sentenced at a later date.

Prosecutors say he went into a Wells Fargo in St. Cloud on May 6, 2021, and alleged fraudulent actions involving his bank account. When the manager couldn’t find any accounts belonging to McNeary, he demanded $60,000 in cash from the vault.

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The U.S. Attorney’s Office says police responded to a silent panic alarm that the manager activated and learned that McNeary was holding five employees hostage. Before the hostages were released, McNeary held a pair of scissors against the bank manager’s neck and back multiple times during the eight-hour standoff.

Court documents add that McNeary told the hostages he was going to harm them and he wanted to “go viral,” cause a “big show” and be “a martyr.”

The standoff finally ended at around 10:30 p.m. when the manager ran for the door and law enforcement rushed in and arrested McNeary, officials say.

No serious injuries were reported.