Office of the United States Attorney, Ann Birmingham Scheel
District of Arizona
February 16, 2012
AVONDALE MAN SENTENCED TO 19 YEARS
ON BANK ROBBERY CHARGES
Driver sentenced to 10 years’ prison
PHOENIX– On February 13, 2012, Ramiro Adrian Gonzalez, 31, of Avondale, Ariz., was sentenced to 19 years in federal prison by U.S. District Judge Frederick J. Martone. Gonzalez had previously pleaded guilty to a multiple-count indictment that charged him with Bank Robbery, Armed Bank Robbery, and Use of a Firearm During a Crime of Violence.
According to Gonzalez’s plea agreement, from Feb. 5, 2011, through March 9, 2011, Gonzalez committed seven bank robberies throughout the Valley. Gonzalez used a handgun in six of those robberies. During the last robbery, on March 9, 2011, Gonzalez received assistance from Michelle Sernas, 29, of Avondale, Ariz., who drove him to the bank, waited outside while he robbed the bank, and then drove him home after the robbery. In connection with that robbery, Sernas entered a guilty plea to Aid and Abet the Use of a Firearm During a Crime of Violence. On Nov. 30, 2011, Judge Martone sentenced her to 10 years in prison.
The United States also seeks information pertaining to the whereabouts of a third individual who is allegedly associated with Sernas. Cynthia Marie Alaniz, 23, of Cashion, Ariz., was indicted on March 23, 2011, on one count of Bank Robbery and Aiding and Abetting in CR 11-00552-PHX-JAT. Alaniz is currently a fugitive. We are providing her picture with the hope that the public may be able to assist us in locating her. If anyone has any information regarding Alaniz’s whereabouts, we would encourage them to contact the FBI at (623) 466-1999.
The investigation in this case was conducted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and its Bank Robbery Task Force. The Bank Robbery Task Force is a partnership of FBI, the Phoenix Police Department, the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office, the Mesa Police Department, the U.S. Attorney’s Office, and the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office, whose focus is to investigate and apprehend bank robbers in the Phoenix metropolitan area. More information on the Bank Robbery Task Force can be found at www.bandittrackerarizona.com . The prosecution was handled by Alison Bachus, Assistant U.S. Attorney, District of Arizona, Phoenix.
CASE NUMBER: CR- 11-515-PHX-FJM
RELEASE NUMBER: 2012-034(Gonzalez, Sernas)
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For more information on the U.S. Attorney’s Office, District of Arizona, visit http://www.usdoj.gov/usao/az/