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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Northern District of California

Friday, January 5, 2018

Salinas Gang Member Pleads Guilty To Multiple Bank Robberies

SAN FRANCISCO – Francisco Javier Marmolejo, aka “Blindy,” pleaded guilty today in federal court to robbing three San Francisco Bay Area banks announced United States Attorney Brian J. Stretch and Federal Bureau of Investigation Special Agent in Charge John F. Bennett.  The plea was accepted by the Honorable Lucy H. Koh, United States District Judge.  

According to today’s plea agreement, Marmolejo, 36, of Salinas admitted robbing Bay Area banks on three occasions between November of 2011 and January of 2012.  Marmolejo admitted that on November 9, 2011, together with others, he robbed a bank in Pacific Grove, Calif.  Marmolejo admitted that at least one of the robbers brandished a firearm and that he was the getaway driver while his fellow robbers went inside the bank to rob it. On that occasion, Marmolejo and his fellow robbers stole approximately $18,383.00 from the bank.  Further, on December 2, 2011, Marmolejo, together with others, robbed a bank in Seaside, Calif.  Marmolejo acknowledged that on that occasion, he brandished a firearm during the robbery.  Finally, on January 19, 2012, Marmolejo, together with others, robbed a bank in Salinas, Calif., during which one of the robbers brandished a gun.

In addition to the three robberies in which Marmolejo admitted he participated, he also admitted that in March of 2012, he possessed three semi-automatic handguns, bear repellant, three ballistic vests, three ski masks, and other items all of which were used and intended to be used during the commission of bank robberies and to avoid detection by law enforcement. 

On January 3, 2017, Marmolejo was charged by superseding information with one count of conspiracy to commit armed bank robbery, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § § 2113(a) and (d), and 371; one count of armed bank robbery, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § § 2113(a) and (2) and 2; and one count of use or possession of a firearm in furtherance of a crime of violence, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § § 924(c)(1)(A) and 2.  Pursuant to today’s plea agreement, Marmolejo pleaded guilty to all counts in the superseding information.  Marmolejo was originally indicted on some of these charges on November 8, 2016.  Marmolejo’s co-defendant Jorge Lopez, aka “Cowboy,” pleaded guilty to the same charges on December 18, 2017.  

The defendant is currently in custody pending sentencing.  Judge Koh scheduled Marmolejo’s sentencing hearing for May 9, 2018.  Co-defendant Lopez is scheduled to be sentenced on April 11, 2018.  The maximum statutory penalty for conspiracy to commit bank robbery is five years’ imprisonment and a fine of $250,000.  The maximum penalty for armed bank robbery is 25 years’ imprisonment and a fine of $250,000.  The maximum statutory penalty for using or possessing a firearm in furtherance of a crime of violence is seven years’ imprisonment and a fine of $250,000.   Further, additional terms of supervised release, penalties, and restitution may be ordered upon conviction.  However, any sentence will be imposed by the court only after consideration of the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and the federal statute governing the imposition of a sentence, 18 U.S.C. § 3553.  

The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Claudia A. Quiroz with the assistance of paralegal Jessica Meegan and legal assistant Lance Libatique.  The prosecution is the result of an investigation by the FBI.

Firearms Offenses
Violent Crime
Updated January 9, 2018