DOJ SealDepartment of Justice

United States Attorney Rebecca A. Gregory
Eastern District of Texas

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                                     CONTACT:  Donna Krise
WEDNESDAY, JUNE 25, 2008                                ACTING PUBLIC INFORMATION OFFICER
www.usdoj.gov/usao/txe                                                                               PHONE: (936) 639-4003

FINAL DEFENDANT PLEADS GUILTY TO ORANGE, TEXAS BANK ROBBERY CHARGES

(BEAUMONT, TX)   United States Attorney Rebecca A. Gregory announced today that a Newton, Texas man has pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit bank robbery charges in the Eastern District of Texas.

            PATRICK JEROME LEVIAS, 46, admitted to his involvement in the robbery of an Orange, Texas bank in an appearance before United States Magistrate Judge Keith Giblin earlier today.  Levias is the last of four men to plead guilty to their involvement in the robbery of the  Orange Savings Bank.

            According to information presented in court, on February 22, 2008, three individuals, including Jose Frederico Cruz, Frederico Johnson, Jr., and an unindicted juvenile, entered the Orange Savings Bank, in Orange, Texas, wearing ski masks and bandanas.  Tellers were able to lock themselves in offices, leaving the teller area empty.  Cruz and Johnson jumped the teller counter, but were unable to access any of the cash drawers.  Surveillance video of the robbery clearly showed that both Cruz and Johnson were carrying firearms.  Deputies and Constables from the Orange County Sheriff's Office were able to quickly apprehend Cruz, Johnson and the juvenile at a truck stop located a short distance from the bank.  Patrick Levias admitted to participating in discussions planning the robbery, riding with Eddie Levias to the robbery, acting as a lookout, and hiding the firearms in the front seat until they arrived near the bank.  Following the robbery, Patrick Levias also admitted that he attempted to find the trio of robbers at the truck stop where they had planned to meet, only to discover that Cruz, Johnson, and the juvenile had been arrested.  At sentencing, Levias, who was charged with conspiring to commit a bank robbery, is facing imprisonment of not more than five years, a fine not to exceed $250,000 or both, and a term of supervised release of more than three years.  A sentencing date has not been set.       

            This case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Orange County Sheriff's Office, Orange Police Department, Newton County Sheriff's Office, Newton Police Department, Pinehurst Police Department, West Orange Police Department, Orange County Constables Keith Merritt, Weldon Peveto, and Dee Avin, the Texas Department of Public Safety, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, and the Texas Rangers.  The case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Robert Rawls.
           
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