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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Eastern District of Texas

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Orange County Woman Guilty of Orange and Lake Charles Bank Robberies

BEAUMONT, Texas – A 51-year-old Vidor, Texas woman has pleaded guilty to federal violations in the Eastern District of Texas, announced Acting U.S. Attorney Brit Featherston today.

 

Eva Renee Powell pleaded guilty to bank robbery today before U.S. Magistrate Judge Keith Giblin.

 

According to information presented in court, on May 20, 2016, Powell entered the Capital One Bank in Orange, Texas wearing sunglasses, a bulky coat and a dark hat. Powell gave a note to the teller demanding money and threatening to blow up the bank if bank personnel did not comply or alerted authorities. Powell fled with an unspecified amount of cash. She was not identified as the Capital One bank robber until nearly a year later, on March 18, 2017, she was caught fleeing a remarkably similar bank robbery in Lake Charles, Louisiana. Investigators with the Orange Police Department were able to connect her to the Orange, Texas bank robbery. In a combined proceeding in Beaumont federal court, Powell also pleaded guilty to the Lake Charles, LA, bank robbery. In that case, as she was fleeing the bank with an undisclosed amount of cash, a concerned citizen followed her get-away car and called authorities. He was then able to block her car's escape from a parking lot long enough for the Lake Charles police to arrive and make the arrest.

 

Under federal statutes, Powell faces up to 20 years in federal prison at sentencing. The maximum statutory sentence prescribed by Congress is provided here for information purposes, as the sentencing will be determined by the court based on the advisory sentencing guidelines and other statutory factors. A sentencing hearing will be scheduled after the completion of a presentence investigation by the U.S. Probation Office.

 

This case is being investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Lake Charles Police Department, the Calcasieu Parish Sheriff’s Office, the Orange County Sheriff’s Office, and Orange Police Department and is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Randall L. Fluke.

 

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Updated August 2, 2017