News and Press Releases

SPANAWAY WOMAN PLEADS GUILTY IN CONNECTION WITH ARMED ROBBERIES
Defendant Assisted Serial Robber by Scouting Credit Unions, then Lied to Grand Jury

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 19, 2006

DESERI C. GARRED, 27, of Spanaway, Washington, pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court in Tacoma to Conspiracy to Commit Credit Union Robbery, Armed Credit Union Robbery, and False Declarations before a Grand Jury. GARRED faces up to 25 years in prison when sentenced by U.S. District Judge Franklin D. Burgess on January 12, 2007.

GARRED admits that she assisted Mitchell Andre Friend, 27, in three robberies of Credit Unions in Tacoma. In each case GARRED assisted Friend by scouting the credit union before the robberies. She reported back to Friend on the layout, number of employees and other information. Friend used that information for three “takeover style” robberies. In April 2004, GARRED scouted Tapco Credit Union and Community Credit Union which operate out of the same location on Pacific Avenue. On May 6, 2004, Friend and an accomplice brandished guns and robbed the credit unions of more than $14,000. GARRED also scouted another Tacoma area credit union before two additional armed robberies, knowing Friend planned to use a gun in the crime. On July 14, 2004, Friend and the co-conspirator entered America’s Credit Union on Pacific Avenue South in Pierce County with loaded handguns. Pointing them at the tellers, they demanded money from the tills and the vault. They made their getaway with more than $36,000. Just six months later, in February 2005, Friend again plotted to rob the same credit union. Friend used a different group of criminal cohorts for the robbery. On February 24, 2005, Friend and a juvenile entered the bank armed with handguns. They ordered an armed security guard to lay on the floor and took his weapon. They ordered the staff to open the vault, and escaped with more than $82,000.

In April 2006, GARRED was called before a grand jury investigating the credit union robberies. She was warned that she could remain silent and would be prosecuted for false statements made to the grand jury. GARRED falsely testified that she had never provided information about the America’s Credit Union to Michael Friend or anyone else.

The case was investigated by the FBI’s Pierce County Violent Crimes Task Force. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney’s Michael Dion and Gregory Gruber.

For additional information please contact Emily Langlie, Public Affairs Officer for the United States Attorney’s Office, at (206) 553-4110.

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