Home Phoenix Press Releases 2009 “Wig Bandit” Found Guilty of Five Armed Bank Robberies, Firearms Charges, and Conspiracy

“Wig Bandit” Found Guilty of Five Armed Bank Robberies, Firearms Charges, and Conspiracy

U.S. Attorney’s Office November 23, 2009
  • District of Arizona (602) 514-7500

PHOENIX—Julio Cesar Feliciano, Jr., 46, of Phoenix, was found guilty by a federal jury of five counts of Armed Bank Robbery, four counts of Use of a Firearm During a Crime of Violence, and Conspiracy to Commit Armed Bank Robbery and Use of a Firearm During a Crime of Violence. The case was tried before U.S. District Judge David G. Campbell from November 10 to November 20. Sentencing is set before Judge Campbell on March 1, 2010. Because Feliciano was convicted of four counts of Use of a Firearm During a Crime of Violence, he faces a mandatory minimum sentence of 82 years in federal prison.

The evidence at trial showed that Feliciano led the group and committed five armed bank robberies in the Phoenix area between June 17 and August 12, 2008. At least one gun was used in each robbery. Feliciano and his associates were dubbed the “Wig Bandits” because they wore wigs in most of the robberies. Two co-defendants, both Mexican citizens living in Phoenix, have already been sentenced. Andrei Ulisses Chavez, 25, was sentenced in September 2009, to 18 years in federal prison. Francisco Javier Serrano, 23, was sentenced in October 2009, to 20 years in federal prison. Four additional co-defendants are pending sentencing after pleading guilty for each of their roles in the robberies.

A conviction for Armed Bank Robbery carries a maximum penalty of 25 years in federal prison, a $250,000 fine or both. A conviction for Use of a Firearm During a Crime of Violence carries a mandatory consecutive sentence of up to life, a $250,000 fine, or both. A conviction for Conspiracy to Commit Armed Bank Robbery carries a maximum penalty of five years, a $250,000 fine or both. In determining an actual sentence, Judge Campbell will consult the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines, which provide appropriate sentencing ranges. The judge, however, is not bound by those guidelines in determining a sentence.

The investigation leading to the guilty verdict was conducted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation; the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives; and the Glendale, Phoenix and Avondale Police Departments.

The prosecution is being handled by Alison S. Bachus and Dimitra H. Sampson, Assistant U.S. Attorneys, District of Arizona, Phoenix.

CASE NUMBER: CR-08-932-PHX-DGC

RELEASE NUMBER: 2009-363(Feliciano)