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Orlando, FL – Chief U.S. District Judge Anne C. Conway today sentenced Joseph Cotto-Diaz (31, Orlando) to 13 years and 5 months in federal prison for aiding and abetting a credit union robbery with assault, and aiding and abetting the use and carrying of a firearm during that robbery. As part of his sentence, Cotto-Diaz was also ordered to pay restitution to his victims.
Cotto-Diaz pleaded guilty on October 1, 2014.
According to testimony and court documents, on the morning of January 25, 2012, Cotto-Diaz and three co-conspirators, including Raulier Rivas Lopez (29, Orlando), robbed the American Eagle Credit Union located at 7007 SeaWorld Drive, in Orlando. Cotto-Diaz, Lopez, and another co-conspirator, all wearing masks, entered the credit union and demanded money from the employees. Lopez pointed an AK-47-style rifle at the employees as Cotto-Diaz pepper-sprayed them. Approximately $7,000 was taken during the robbery.
After fleeing the credit union in a stolen van, the men drove to a nearby hotel parking lot and abandoned the vehicle. They then ran through a pre-cut hole in a chain-link fence, and met another co-conspirator who was waiting in a getaway car.
Lopez pleaded guilty on June 10, 2014, and was sentenced on September 11, 2014, to 14 years in federal prison.
This case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Orange County Sheriff’s Office. It was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Joseph M. Schuster.