DOJ SealDepartment of Justice

United States Attorney John L. Ratcliffe
Eastern District of Texas

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                          CONTACT:  DAVILYN WALSTON
THURSDAY, MARCH 6, 2008                         PUBLIC INFORMATION OFFICER
WWW.USDOJ.GOV/USAO/txe                                        PHONE: (409) 839-2538
                                                                                                 CELL: (409) 553-9881

NEWTON MEN INDICTED BY FEDERAL GRAND JURY
 FOR BANK ROBBERY

BEAUMONT, TX—United States Attorney John L. Ratcliffe announced today that a federal grand jury has returned an indictment charging four Newton residents with armed bank robbery in the Eastern District of Texas. 
 
            The following persons were named in the federal indictment which was returned late yesterday:

EDDIE WAYNE LEVIAS, 43, of Newton;
PATRICK JEROME LEVIAS, 46, of Newton;
FREDERICO JOHNSON, JR., 19, of Newton; and
JOSE FEDERICO CRUZ, 18, of Newton.

            According to the indictment, on February 22, 2008, the defendants are alleged to have conspired to rob the McLewis branch of Orange Savings Bank.  In addition to being indicted for armed bank robbery and conspiracy, Johnson and Cruz have also been indicted for using firearms to commit the robbery.  Due to the quick actions of bank employees, the bank did not suffer a loss and the defendants were quickly apprehended.

            The defendants face up to 25 years in federal prison for the bank robbery charge, five years to life for the firearms charge, and five years for the conspiracy charge and a fine not to exceed $250,000.

            This case is being investigated by the Orange County Sheriff's Office, the Orange Police Department, the Newton County Sheriff's Office, the Newton Police Department, the Pinehurst Police Department, the West Orange Police Department, the Orange County Constables Offices, the Texas Department of Public Safety, the Texas Rangers, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation.  The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Robert L. Rawls.

            It is important to note that an indictment should not be considered as evidence of guilt and that all persons charged with a crime are presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.
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