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May 14, 2010

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(HOUSTON) – Erik Roshan Roy, 38, of Houston, convicted of robbing a branch of Wachovia Bank in July 2009, has been sentenced to prison without parole, United States Attorney José Angel Moreno announced today.

United States District Court Ewing Werlein sentenced Roy this morning to 108 months in federal prison, without parole, for conspiring to and robbing the Wachovia Bank branch located at 5311 Wesleyan in July 2009 of $280,005. Roy has been in federal custody without bond since his since Aug. 23, 2009, arrest and will remain in custody pending transfer to a Bureau of Prisons facility where he will serve out his sentence. In addition to the prison term, Judge Werlein ordered Roy to pay restitution in the amount of $228,776.06 to the bank and further ordered Roy to serve a five-year-term of supervised release to begin after his release from federal prison.

Roy pleaded guilty to conspiring to and robbing the bank in February of this year admitting that between July 2009 until Aug. 26, 2009, he and co-defendant Tuaca Elaine Deason, a Wachovia Bank teller, planned and executed the robbery of the bank and stole $280,005 intending to share the proceeds. Deason used her position as bank teller at the 5311 Wesleyan branch of Wachovia Bank to help Roy gain access to the bank before business hours.

On July 17, 2009, Deason reported for work as usual. Later that morning, but before the bank opened for business, Roy called Deason to confirm she was there. Acting according to plan, Deason exited the bank on the pretext of going to her car but actually exited to permit Roy to enter the bank. When Deason walked back into the bank, Roy followed her, brandishing what appeared to be a firearm, and 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 a firearm to her head telling the employee, “IF YOU LOOK AT MY FACE, I WILL SHOOT YOU.” 

While pointing the gun at a very intimidated bank employee’s head, Roy directed Deason and the employee to the bank’s vault located at the rear of the bank. Once inside the vault, 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 lie on the floor. While Deason and the employee were lying on the floor, Roy told them, “ALL I NEED IS 15 MINUTES. IF YOU LOOK UP, I WILL KILL YOU.” On Aug.  9, 2009, RoygaveDeason her share of the proceeds from the bank robbery.

The FBI and the Houston Police Department Bank Robbery Task Force initiated an investigation in July 2009 following bank robbery which ultimately lead to the identification of Roy as the robber, Deason’s insider role in the robbery, and the charges and the arrest of Roy and Deason.

Deason, who also pleaded guilty to her part in the conspiracy and bank robbery in February 2010, is scheduled to be sentenced on June 18, 2010. She remains on bond.

Special Assistant United States Attorney Justo A. Mendez prosecuted the case.


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