Lansing Man Heads To Trial For Smuggling Cellphone Into Jail

A Lansing man already facing federal bank robbery charges is headed to trial in Livingston County for smuggling a cell phone into the jail.

35-year-old Brian Dewayne Ali Jr. rejected a plea agreement with Livingston County prosecutors after being charged earlier this year with possession of contraband in prison after officials found a cellphone in his cell. Ali was jailed after being arrested on federal bank robbery charges following the April 2016 robbery of the PNC Bank located on West Grand River in Genoa Township. Police say Ali disguised himself by dressing as a woman and wearing makeup and a wig. They say he then entered the bank brandishing a handgun and what appeared to be a bomb and announced a robbery. Afterward, he fled in a blue Ford Mustang with an undisclosed amount of cash.

Ali is set to stand trial in federal court October 15th where he faces various counts of armed robbery, bank robbery, unlawful imprisonment and being a habitual offender. In addition to the Genoa Township bank robbery, he is also charged with six armed robberies that occurred in Oakland and Macomb counties between December 2015 and February of 2016.

The trial on the local contraband charge is set September 30th. If convicted, he faces up to five years in prison. (JK)

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