States Attorney's Office District of Connecticut
|June 21, 2011||
BANK ROBBER SENTENCED TO LIFE IN PRISON
David B. Fein, United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, announced that FRANCISCO DEIDA, 47, of Bridgeport, was sentenced today by United States District Judge Stefan R. Underhill in Bridgeport to a lifetime term of imprisonment for bank robbery.
On March 3, 2010, a federal jury found DEIDA guilty of two counts of bank robbery. According to the evidence presented during the trial, on January 28, 2009, DEIDA, Domingo Gonzalez and Henry Crespo robbed the Webster Bank on Merwin Avenue in Milford. On that date, DEIDA and Gonzalez entered the bank wearing heavy winter clothing, had their faces covered with masks and scarves, and were carrying umbrellas, which they kept open to block the bank’s video surveillance. Gonzalez approached the bank manager, grabbed her by the arm, pressed a gun up against her and demanded access to the safe. Gonzalez then demanded that the bank manager and the assistant manager accompany him behind the teller line. At the same time, DEIDA approached a bank teller, pulled out a gun, and demanded money. Gonzalez directed all of the bank employees to a corner behind the teller line and told them to turn around while the teller emptied the bank’s day vault into a bag held by DEIDA. Gonzalez and DEIDA then fled from the bank with approximately $84,000 in a car driven by co-defendant Henry Crespo.
On April 6, 2009, DEIDA and the two other individuals also robbed the TD Banknorth on Amity Road in Woodbridge. Like the previous robbery, DEIDA and Gonzalez wore heavy clothing, masks and disguises on their faces, and carried umbrellas. Gonzalez entered the bank and vaulted over the teller line and demanded cash from two tellers. At the same time, DEIDA approached branch manager, flashed a gun in his waistband and demanded access to the vault. DEIDA directed the bank employees to a safe deposit room behind the teller line while Gonzalez forced a bank employee to go into the vault with him. DEIDA and Gonzalez left the bank with approximately $23,000, and fled in a car driven by Crespo.
During the course of the Woodbridge robbery, a U.S. postal carrier delivering mail to the bank entered the bank and observed the robbery in progress. The postal carrier then left the bank and immediately called 911 from his postal vehicle. Chased by police, Crespo drove the getaway car from Woodbridge into the Rock Creek neighborhood of New Haven. There, Crespo slowed the car down and DEIDA and Gonzalez jumped out and fled on foot. Crespo abandoned the car a few blocks later and was apprehended later that day in the neighborhood.
DEIDA was sentenced pursuant to the federal “Three Strikes” law, under which a defendant receives mandatory life imprisonment if he or she is convicted in federal court of a serious violent felony and has two or more prior convictions in federal or state courts, at least one of which is a serious violent felony. DEIDA’s extensive prior criminal record dates to 1983 and includes state convictions for first degree manslaughter, first degree assault and first degree robbery.
DEIDA has been detained since his arrest on May 28, 2009.
On May 22, 2009, FBI agents arrested Gonzalez in Bridgeport. At the time of his arrest, he possessed in his car a loaded .32 firearm, several fake moustaches and a make-up kit.
Gonzalez and Crespo pleaded guilty to two counts of bank robbery. Gonzalez, who possessed a firearm during the Webster Bank robbery, also pleaded guilty to one count of possession of a firearm during and in relation to a crime of violence. Gonzalez and Crespo are currently serving prison terms of 220 months and 48 months, respectively.
This matter was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Milford Police Department, the Woodbridge Police Department, the New Haven Police Department, and the Connecticut State Police. The case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Sarah P. Karwan.
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