Tampa Couple Sentenced to Federal Prison for String of Bank Robberies
TAMPA—U.S. District Judge Virginia M. Hernandez Covington sentenced Cara Lee Williams (29, Tampa) yesterday to five years in federal prison for conspiracy to obstruct, delay, or affect commerce by robbery. On May 14, 2014, U.S. District Judge Elizabeth A. Kovachevich sentenced Immanuel Lee Williams (29, Tampa) to five years and 10 months in federal prison for the same charge. Both were ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $55,526 to the victim financial institutions and to forfeit $48,476.25 in proceeds obtained during the conspiracy. The Williamses pleaded guilty on January 21, 2014.
According to court documents, the Williamses conspired to rob federally insured financial institutions between December 2012 and November 2013. During that period, they carried out 15 bank robberies in the Middle District of Florida and in Alabama. As part of the scheme, Cara Lee Williams prepared demand notes and acted as the getaway driver for her husband, Immanuel Lee Williams, who would enter the bank and pass the note to the teller. The note typically indicated that the perpetrator possessed a gun. For one of the robberies, the roles were reversed, and Cara Lee Williams entered the bank and passed the demand note to the teller, while her husband waited outside in the getaway vehicle. The Williamses used the proceeds from the robberies to pay bills and gamble at casinos. They were apprehended on November 7, 2013.
This case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Tampa Police Department, Polk County Sheriff’s Office, Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office, Auburndale Police Department, Lee County Sheriff’s Office, Sumter County Sheriff’s Office, Orange County Sheriff’s Office, and Ocala Police Department. It was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Joseph W. Swanson.