Federal Jury Convicts Houston Man for Armed Bank Robbery and Money Laundering
|U.S. Attorney’s Office November 15, 2011|
ABDEL RAHIM MUHAMMAD, a/k/a Charles Ramee, age 56, a resident of Houston, TX, was found guilty by a federal jury of a three-count superseding indictment for armed robbery and the use of a firearm during the commission of that bank robbery. In addition to the charges for the bank robbery, MUHAMMAD was also convicted for conspiracy to commit money laundering.
According to testimony, MUHAMMAD entered the Whitney Bank Poydras branch shortly after it opened on July 21, 2009, brandishing a gun. MUHAMMAD disarmed the security guard and then proceeded to point the gun at the first teller while demanding cash. The teller turned over $7,049.00 but was also able to include an exploding dye-pack, unbeknownst to MUHAMMAD. MUHAMMAD exited the bank with the cash but the dye-pack exploded soon thereafter. NOPD and FBI agents, responding to the robbery, arrived on the scene and discovered $707.00 of discarded currency covered in red dye and the bank security guard’s gun in nearby Lafayette Square Park.
Later the same day, MUHAMMAD and his wife, Debra Muhammad, entered a United States Post Office on Chef Menteur Hwy. and purchased five $500.00 money orders, which they mailed to an individual in Marietta, Georgia. MUHAMMAD paid for the money orders using 26 $100.00 bills he had obtained in the bank robbery. Most of the bills had red-dye stains on the edges.
MUHAMMAD faces a a maximum term of life imprisonment for committing the bank robbery while brandishing a weapon. Finally, MUHAMMAD faces an additional term of imprisonment for his money laundering conviction. MUHAMMAD also faces a maximum fines of $4,000,000, and eight years of supervised release following any term of imprisonment.
Sentencing is scheduled for February 29, 2012, before United States District Court Judge Helen G. Berrigan. The case resulted from an investigation by special agents of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, with assistance from the United States Postal Service. The case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Rick Veters and Ed Rivera.