Last Member of Violent Take-Over Style Bank Robbery Crew Sentenced
Defendants Sentences Range from Three Years to 16 Years in Prison for String of Robberies in Michigan, Ohio, and Washington
|U.S. Attorney’s Office February 28, 2014|
The final defendant of a violent bank robbery team was sentenced today in U.S. District Court in Seattle, announced U.S. Attorney Jenny A. Durkan. In all, seven defendants have entered guilty pleas and been sentenced for their roles in the string of bank robberies. CHARLES A. WILLIAMS, 40, of Los Angeles, was sentenced today to eight years in prison and three years of supervised release. JEANINE M. DANIELS, 32, of Los Angeles, California, was sentenced yesterday to five years in prison and three years of supervised release. Three other defendants from Los Angeles were sentenced earlier this year: KEVIN L. BROWN, 38, was sentenced to 16 years in prison; CURTIS W. SMITH, 22, was sentenced to 37 months in prison; and DOUGLAS L. SMITH, 22, was sentenced to 51 months in prison. JANALISA ESTRADA, 33, of Hollywood, California, was sentenced to four years in prison, and ANTHONY V. MOSLEY, 46, of Tacoma, Washington, was sentenced to 13 years in prison. U.S. District Judge Richard A. Jones imposed the sentences.
“This was a sophisticated crew of interstate robbers who terrorized bank employees and customers. They thought they could escape justice but were badly mistaken,” said U.S. Attorney Jenny A. Durkan. “I commend the FBI’s South Sound Gang Task Force for their leadership in tracking the group and bringing them to justice.”
According to records filed in the case, various members of the seven member ring participated in one or more of a string of takeover-style bank robberies in Washington, Ohio, Michigan, and Colorado. During the robberies, subjects entered the banks in groups, covered head to toe in loose clothing and gloves, and demanded money while jumping over teller counters. The four robberies in Washington were the May 25, 2012 robbery of a Wells Fargo branch on Pacific Avenue South in Tacoma; the September 6, 2012 robbery of a U.S. Bank Branch on Bridgeport Way in Lakewood; the October 22, 2012 robbery of a Wells Fargo Bank branch on Lake City Way in Seattle; and the December 20, 2012 robbery of a Wells Fargo Bank branch on 132nd Avenue NE in Kirkland. In their plea agreements, various members of the gang pleaded guilty to different robberies in Saline, Ypsilanti, Ann Arbor, Temperance, and Jackson, Michigan, and Toledo, Ohio.
“These brazen criminals didn’t think they’d be caught, as none ever do,” said Acting Special Agent in Charge W. Jay Abbott of the FBI Seattle Field Office. “The resolution of this investigation tells others like them that they’re wrong; the FBI and its law enforcement partners will doggedly pursue you, and prosecutors will ensure you face justice for your actions. The South Sound Gang Task Force is committed to combating gang violence in all its forms, and it will continue to combine the skills of multiple law enforcement agencies for that mission.”
The South Sound Gang Task Force (SSGTF) in Washington arrested five of the subjects on December 22, 2012 on state bank robbery charges. The SSGTF arrested the subjects as they prepared to board a Greyhound bus to Los Angeles, California. Investigators were waiting at the bus station, based upon information that the group frequently traveled to Los Angeles by Greyhound bus within days of a bank robbery.
The Tacoma, Washington-based SSGTF investigated the robberies in Washington state in partnership with the Lakewood Police Department’s Gang Unit and the FBI Seattle Safe Streets Task Force. The SSGTF is composed of members of the FBI Seattle Division, Lakewood and Tacoma Police Departments, the Washington State Patrol, the Washington State Department of Corrections, and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF). FBI entities nationwide collaborated in the investigation, including the Los Angeles Field Office and the Ann Arbor, Denver, and Toledo Resident Agencies.
The case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Mike Dion and Kate Crisham.
Press contact for the U.S. Attorney’s Office is Emily Langlie at (206) 553-4110 or Emily.Langlie@usdoj.gov.