June 24, 2010
HOUSTON WOMAN SENTENCED TO PRISON FOR BANK ROBBERY
(HOUSTON) – Tuaca Elaine Deason, 25, of Houston, has been sentenced to 30 months in federal prison for her role in a conspiracy to rob the Wachovia Bank branch located at 5311 Wesleyan, U.S. Attorney José Angel Moreno announced today. United States District Court Ewing Werlein sentenced Deason today to the prison term which is to be followed by a five-year-term of supervised release and ordered her to pay restitution in the amount of $228,776.06.
While considering Deason’s acceptance of responsibility for her criminal conduct as well other mitigating factors, Judge Werlein handed down the prison term telling Deason: “As the insider, you submitted your co-employee to the terrible experience of a bank robbery.”
In or about July 2009, Tuaca Elaine Deason and co-defendant Erik Roshan Roy, 38, of Houston, conspired to take by force and intimidation, approximately $280,005 from employees of the Wachovia Bank branch. Deason, using her position as bank teller at Wachovia Bank, agreed to facilitate access to the bank for Roy before business hours. Roy secured the use of a firearm, or what seemed to be a firearm, to be brandished and used in order to intimidate the bank employees and take money from the bank. On or about July 17, 2009, Deason reported to her regular work shift at Wachovia Bank. Later that morning, Roy called Deason on her mobile telephone to verify she was inside the bank. Acting according to plan, Deason went outside of the bank with the pretext that she needed to retrieve some keys from her car. The plan was to allow Roy to enter the bank before it was open for business.
As Deason walked back into the bank, Roy followed her and brandished what seem to be a firearm. Next, Roy shouted “DON’T NOBODY MOVE, NOBODY GETS HURT, LET’S GO.” Once inside the lobby of the bank, Roy physically restrained another bank employee by holding her around the neck and pointed what appeared to be a firearm at her head. Roy then directed both Deason and the employee to the bank’s vault. Once inside the vault room, Roy instructed Deason to remove money from the vault and place it into a bag which Roy produced. Roy then instructed Deason and the bank employee to crawl out of the vault room and to lie on the floor outside of the vault room. While Deason and the employee were lying on the floor, Roy stated, “ALL I NEED IS 15 MINUTES, IF YOU LOOK UP, I WILL KILL YOU.”
Co-defendant Roy was sentenced on June 18, 2010, to 108 months in prison.
The investigation was lead by the FBI and the Houston Police Department bank robbery task force. Special Assistant United States Attorney Justo A. Mendez prosecuted the case.
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