Why was bank robber out of prison? It’s complicated.


A Bismarck man, who made a bomb threat Wednesday, had only been out of federal custody for hours.

Rondal Heitsch is accused of walking into a Starion Bank in downtown Bismarck claiming to have a bomb, the downtown streets were closed down for 5 hours, while Police investigated.

KX News first told you Wednesday afternoon, that Heitsch had been in federal prison for robbing Bremer Bank in September of 2016.
His federal sentence should have had him spending 63 months in jail…but he was out of custody, in just 30 months.

KX News spoke to the US Attorney’s Office who says Heitsch being out of custody early is a complicated process.
Rondal Heitsch was considered an Armed Career Criminal by the federal court system, meaning he’s had 3 or more violent convictions.

In 2004, he was sentenced to 15 years for being a Felon in Possession of a Firearm.
However, a Supreme Court decision, changed sentencing, affecting Heitsch’s case, and he was released from prison in July of 2016.

But this is where things get tricky. 
That additional time served is why Heitsch didn’t serve his full 63 months in jail.

He received credit and was transferred in January 2019, to Centre Inc. in Mandan to finish out his sentence.
The US Attorney’s Office says he was released from Centre Inc. either Tuesday or Wednesday, the exact timing isn’t clear.

The Bureau of Prison’s lists Heitsch as absconded from prison, however, the US Attorney’s Office cannot clarify why.

No charges have been filed against Heitsch for Wednesday’s bomb threat, but he is being held in the Burleigh Morton Detention Center for terrorizing and robbery.

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