A federal plea hearing has been held for a Howell man in connection with three bank robberies.

35-year-old Kenneth Kniivila had been charged in U.S. District Court in Detroit with two counts of bank robbery. But at a hearing Wednesday, he entered a guilty plea to one count in exchange for the other one being dropped. Authorities say Kniivila admitted that he robbed the Bank of America on Grand River in Genoa Township on January 11th, followed by two more bank robberies on January 16th in Toledo and Monroe. After surveillance photos went public, law enforcement was able to identify Kniivila as the primary suspect.

The Livingston County Sheriff’s Office took him into custody without incident and a vehicle search turned up various items including four grams of suspected cocaine, two black semi-automatic pellet guns, money and green canvas bags. The Sheriff’s Office and the FBI interviewed Kniivila, who waived his Miranda rights and admitted to the three robberies. He told authorities he “lost his marbles” on the 16th and drove around Toledo looking for a bank to rob.

Court records indicate Kniivila faces a sentencing range of between 57 and 71 months in prison when he is sentenced September 21st. He must also pay restitution of $6,799, the total amount he made off with from the robberies. (JK)