Virginia Beach Man Pleads Guilty to Four Bank Robberies
NORFOLK, Va. – A Virginia Beach man pleaded guilty today to robbing three banks and one credit union.
According to court documents, from October 2017 through April 2018, Rian Michael Lopez, 30, robbed a Wells Fargo bank of $7,700, a Bank of America of $17,191, a BB&T bank of $4,076, and a Bayport Federal Credit Union of $6,800. At the last robbery the bank tellers secreted bait money into the money they gave to Lopez. Sometime later an alert Virginia Beach police officer caught Lopez casing another Wells Fargo bank for a potential robbery, and a search of his car and his home revealed clothing he had worn to the previous robberies and a large of amount of money that included the bait money from the Bayport Federal Credit Union robbery.
Lopez pleaded guilty to bank robbery and faces a maximum of 20 years in prison when sentenced on Jan. 25, 2019. Actual sentences for federal crimes are typically less than the maximum penalties. A federal district court judge will determine any sentence after taking into account the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.
This case is part of Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), a program bringing together all levels of law enforcement and the communities they serve to reduce violent crime and make our neighborhoods safer for everyone. Attorney General Jeff Sessions reinvigorated PSN in 2017 as part of the Department’s renewed focus on targeting violent criminals, directing all U.S. Attorney’s Offices to work in partnership with federal, state, local, and tribal law enforcement and the local community to develop effective, locally-based strategies to reduce violent crime.
G. Zachary Terwilliger, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia, and Martin Culbreth, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI’s Norfolk Field Office, made the announcement after U.S. Magistrate Judge Douglas E. Miller accepted the plea. Assistant U.S. Attorney William D. Muhr is prosecuting the case.
A copy of this press release is located on the website of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Virginia. Related court documents and information is located on the website of the District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia or on PACER by searching for Case No. 2:18-cr-135.