District Women Sentenced To 30 Months In Prison For Two Bank Robberies In Northwest Washington-Defendant Threatened Tellers And Robbed Two Banks Within 20 Minutes-
WASHINGTON - Mercedes Romero, 36, of Washington, D.C., was sentenced today to a 30-month prison term for robbing two banks in Northwest Washington on the same day, announced U.S. Attorney Ronald C. Machen Jr., Valerie Parlave, Assistant Director in Charge of the FBI’s Washington Field Office, and Cathy L. Lanier, Chief of the Metropolitan Police Department (MPD).
Romero pled guilty in April 2013 to two counts of bank robbery. She was sentenced by the Honorable John D. Bates. Upon completion of her prison term, Romero will be placed on three years of supervised release. In addition, she must pay $1,596 in restitution to the two banks.
According to the government’s evidence, on Feb. 4, 2013, Romero robbed two banks within 20 minutes by producing demand notes that threatened bank tellers at the institutions.
First, at 9:10 a.m., she entered a PNC Bank in the 4200 block of Wisconsin Avenue NW, stopping briefly at the lobby counter, then proceeding to the teller window. She provided the bank teller with a demand note and a blank bank deposit slip. According to the teller, the demand note stated “give me all $100s, $50s, and $20s or I will kill you after work.” Romero then instructed the teller to return the demand note after receiving the cash. Later, an audit of the teller’s cash box determined that the teller provided the defendant with $1,048 in cash.
Then, at 9:28 a.m., Romero robbed the Bank of America in the 3400 block of Connecticut Avenue NW. She entered the bank, again stopping briefly at the lobby counter before proceeding to the teller’s window. Once again, she provided the teller with a demand note and a blank bank deposit slip. At that time, she also told the teller that she had a gun. The teller further recalled that the demand note stated “I have a gun. Give me all of your 20s and 50s. Act normal. Don’t sound the alarm. I’m going to kill you at the end of the day if you say anything.” A bank audit of the teller’s cash box determined that the teller provided the defendant with $548 in cash.
An investigation of the robberies was conducted and the defendant’s picture was displayed on television and print media. Romero was charged with the crimes on Feb. 21, 2013.
In announcing today’s sentence, U.S. Attorney Machen, Assistant Director in Charge Parlave and Chief Lanier commended the actions of the FBI agents and MPD officers who participated in the investigation, arrest and prosecution. They also acknowledged the work of Assistant U.S. Attorney Emory V. Cole, who investigated and prosecuted the case.