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Toledo boxer's bloody nose gets linked to 2009 Mich. bank heist

Charges filed after FBI says ringside DNA matches evidence


Toledo boxer Martin Tucker is worked on after the first round of a four-round match April 28. Mr. Tucker won by unanimous decision. A bloody nose he suffered that night might prove pivotal in a criminal case against him.

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Martin Tucker was in a boxing ring in his hometown of Toledo for the first time in nearly a decade.

"My intention is to go out there and make the most of it and make history," Mr. Tucker, 32, a construction worker, told The Blade before his match this spring.

During the fight at the Huntington Center, Mr. Tucker's face took a vicious, telling jab from the glove of Dedrick Bell, a boxer from Memphis, giving the Toledo man a bloody nose.

Watching nearby was Special Agent Robert Schmitz, a 23-year veteran with the FBI.

According to a complaint filed in U.S. District Court in Detroit, Agent Schmitz took from the scene a discarded, bloodied cotton swab used to wipe the boxer's face. Authorities say DNA from the swab was then used to connect Mr. Tucker to a 2009 robbery at the Monroe County Community Credit Union, 7408 Lewis Ave., in Temperance.

Mr. Tucker is charged with one count each of bank robbery and using or carrying a firearm during a crime of violence.

The complaint was filed on Monday in U.S. District Court in Detroit.

Simon Shaykhet, a spokesman for the FBI's Detroit field office, deferred all questions and requests for comment to the U.S. Attorney's Office.

Susan Plochinski from the U.S. Attorney's Office in Detroit said officials there could not comment, citing the ongoing investigation.

It was not known late Thursday whether Mr. Tucker was in custody.

Authorities would not comment on Mr. Tucker's whereabouts.

A recorded message on Mr. Tucker's cell phone states the phone does not accept incoming calls.

Martin McManus, a Toledo attorney who was a promoter for the April 28 Toledo Fight Night event, did not return a call for comment.

The credit union was robbed July 16, 2009, three years to the day later the charges were filed.

Two gunmen went into the credit union and demanded a teller hand over all cash from a register, according to the court complaint.

The teller complied, and the men fled with $5,379 in a car with a third man behind the wheel.

A man who witnessed the bank robbery followed the three suspects about three miles before the suspects abandoned the car in front of a Toledo residence.

The trio ran into a nearby wooded area, the report states.

As the men fled, they left behind a trail of evidence -- latex gloves, a T-shirt, black mask, and industrial gloves, according to the complaint.

The evidence, along with a DNA sample taken from the abandoned getaway car -- which was also stolen from a home in Toledo -- led investigators to their first suspect, Quentin Sherer, 32.

Sherer's DNA was already in a national database because of a prior conviction, giving investigators a match to DNA taken from the industrial gloves, T-shirt, and black mask recovered near the woods.

Sherer was arrested and indicted in November, 2011; his case is pending before U.S. District Court Judge Robert H. Cleland in Detroit.

As the investigation continued, authorities identified Mr. Tucker as a friend of Sherer who matched the description of one of the gunmen, the complaint states.

The agent used, a social networking site, to determine the two suspects were friends.

With the DNA collected from the boxing match, which Mr. Tucker won by unanimous decision, investigators said they definitively matched the boxer's DNA with samples taken from the getaway car and the mask.

Mr. Tucker is scheduled to appear in Detroit's U.S. District Court on July 31.

Contact Taylor Dungjen at:, 419-724-6054, or on Twitter @tdungjen_Blade.

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