News and Press Releases

United States Attorney Benjamin B. Wagner
Eastern District of California

Ceres Man Pleads Guilty to Four Bank Robberies

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
 

Docket #: 1:11-CR-0448 LJO

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

 

FRESNO, Calif. — Michael Torres of Ceres, California, entered a plea of guilty today on four counts of armed bank robbery and one count of brandishing a firearm during a crime of violence, United States Attorney Benjamin B. Wagner announced.

This case is the product of an investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Modesto Police Department, and the Turlock Police Department. Assistant United States Attorneys Melanie L. Alsworth, Yasin Mohammad and Dawrence W. Rice prosecuted the case.

Torres pleaded guilty to robbing the following banks:

  • U.S. Bank, 3501 Tully Road, Modesto, on May 27, 2010;
  • RaboBank, 2190 West Monte Vista Avenue, Turlock, on September 23, 2010;
  • Oak Valley Community Bank, 2001 Geer Road, Turlock, on January 28, 2011; and
  • Farmers and Merchants Bank, 1700 McHenry Avenue, Modesto, on May 27, 2011.

During each of the four robberies, Torres wore a hat, sunglasses, a bandage on his left cheek, and carried a backpack. He would enter each bank, brandish a firearm, corral the employees, and flee with cash.

Torres is scheduled for sentencing on April 8, 2013, at 8:30 a.m. before U.S. District Judge Lawrence J. O’Neill. Torres faces up to 25 years in prison, followed by five years of supervised release, for each armed bank robbery. Torres will also receive a consecutive sentence for brandishing a firearm during a crime of violence, which carries a mandatory minimum sentence of seven years in prison and a maximum sentence of life in prison. He will also be required to pay restitution for each of the robberies. The actual sentence, however, will be determined at the discretion of the court after consideration of any applicable statutory sentencing factors and the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, which take into account a number of variables.

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