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NEWS RELEASE

OFFICE OF THE UNITED STATES ATTORNEY

WESTERN DISTRICT OF MISSOURI


JOHN F. WOOD


Contact Don Ledford, Public Affairs ● (816) 426-4220 ● 400 East Ninth Street, Room 5510 ● Kansas City, MO 64106

www.usdoj.gov/usao/mow/index.html


SEPTEMBER 12, 2007

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE


INDEPENDENCE MAN PLEADS GUILTY

TO BANK ROBBERY


            KANSAS CITY, Mo. – John F. Wood, United States Attorney for the Western District of Missouri, announced that an Independence, Mo., man plead guilty in federal court today for the armed robbery of the First National Bank of Missouri in Independence, Mo.


            Raymond A. Delacruz, 24, of Independence, plead guilty in front of Judge Howard Sachs to bank robbery and using a firearm during a crime of violence. Under federal statutes, Delacruz could be subject to a sentence of up to 35 years in federal prison without parole, plus a fine up to $500,000. A sentencing hearing will be scheduled after the completion of a presentence investigation by the United States Probation Office.


            As part of his guilty plea, Delacruz admitted that he entered the First National Bank of Missouri located at 10725 Independence Avenue, Independence, Mo. on March 28, 2006, wearing a mask, carrying a firearm, and loudly demanding money. Pointing a handgun in the air, Delacruz fired a shot away from bank employees. Bank personnel gave Delacruz $9,311, and he left the bank on foot.


            Delacruz was seen running from the bank into a wooded area where he entered a vehicle and drove away. Responding police officers initiated an immediate pursuit and shortly thereafter stopped and arrested Delacruz. Once in police custody, Delacruz was found to be in possession of a loaded handgun, and the cash taken during the bank robbery.


            This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney K. Michael Warner. It was investigated by the Independence, Mo., Police Department, the Sugar Creek, Mo., Police Department, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

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This news release, as well as additional information about the office of the United States Attorney for the Western District of Missouri, is available on-line at

www.usdoj.gov/usao/mow/index.html