Trio Pleads Guilty in Odessa Armored Car Heist
|U.S. Attorney’s Office August 27, 2009|
John E. Murphy, Acting United States Attorney, announced that in Midland, 19-year-old Christopher Simmons, 20-year old Joshua Bell and 19-year-old Preston Savell have pleaded guilty to federal charges associated with the attempted robbery of an armored car at a Western National Bank in Odessa, Texas on June 4, 2009.
Appearing before United States Magistrate Judge David Counts, all three pleaded guilty to attempted bank robbery, conspiracy to commit bank robbery and use of a firearm during a crime of violence. Simmons pleaded guilty this morning; Bell and Savell, yesterday.
By pleading guilty, Bell and Savell admitted that while carrying a .45 caliber hand gun and 9mm carbine rifle, respectively, they attempted to steal money from the armored car. During an exchange of gunfire, one armored car guard suffered a total of four gunshot wounds to his chest, thigh and feet. Bell and Savell fled the scene in a vehicle driven by Simmons, but the defendants were captured by authorities later that day.
Each defendant faces up to 25 years imprisonment for attempted bank robbery; up to five years imprisonment for conspiracy to commit bank robbery; and, between 10 years and life imprisonment for using a firearm during a crime of violence. There is no sentencing date.
This case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation together with the Odessa Police Department and the Texas Department of Public Safety. Assistant United States Attorneys Kerry Fleck and Brandi Young are prosecuting this case on behalf of the government.