United States Attorney Rebecca A. Gregory
Eastern District of Texas
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE CONTACT: DAVILYN WALSTON
FRIDAY, JANUARY 23, 2009 PUBLIC INFORMATION OFFICER
WWW.USDOJ.GOV/USAO/txe PHONE: (409) 839-2538 CELL: (409) 553-9881
TWO SENTENCED FOR ATTEMPTING
TO ROB ORANGE SAVINGS BANK
BEAUMONT, TX—U.S. Attorney Rebecca A. Gregory announced today that two men have been sentenced to federal prison for their roles in an attempted bank robbery in the Eastern District of Texas.
PATRICK JEROME LEVIAS, 47, of Newton, pleaded guilty on June 25, 2008, to conspiracy to commit bank robbery and JOSE FEDERICO CRUZ, 19, of Garland, Texas, pleaded guilty on June 4, 2008, to carrying a firearm during a crime of violence. Each was sentenced to 60 months in federal prison today by U.S. District Judge Ron Clark.
According to the information presented in court, Levias and Cruz, along with co-defendants, Eddie Wayne Levias, Frederico Johnson, Jr., and a juvenile, were involved in a conspiracy to commit bank robbery. On Feb. 22, 2008, Cruz, Johnson and the juvenile rapidly entered Orange Savings Bank branch located on Highway 62 North, in Orange, Texas, wearing ski masks and bandannas. In surveillance video, Cruz and Johnson are both shown to be carrying firearms. As the men entered the bank, the tellers and other bank employees locked themselves in various offices, leaving the teller area empty. Cruz and Johnson jumped the teller counter, but were unable to open any of the teller drawers. They then exited the bank without having taken any money from the bank. The three were apprehended at the Flying J Truck Stop a short distance from the bank. One defendant was still in possession of a revolver and another firearm was recovered from a nearby garbage dumpster at the truck stop. Clothing seen in the surveillance video was also recovered by deputies from an empty field between the truck stop and the bank. Further investigation revealed that the robbery was planned by defendant Eddie Wayne Levias, who had visited the bank the day before inquiring about opening a business account. It was also determined that Eddie Wayne Levias and Patrick Jerome Levias dropped the three men off at the bank with the intention of picking them up at a nearby location after the robbery. Patrick Jerome Levias admitted his role in planning the robbery and by acting as a lookout and hiding the firearms before the robbery.
Johnson and Eddie Wayne Levias are set to be sentenced on Feb. 19, 2009.
This case was 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, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation. The case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Robert L. Rawls.
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