Skip to main content
Press Release

Salinas Resident Sentenced To Four And A Half Years In Prison For Bank Robbery

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Northern District of California

SAN JOSE – Jose Lemus was sentenced today to serve 54 months in prison for his role in an armed bank robbery, announced United States Attorney Brian J. Stretch and Federal Bureau of Investigation Special Agent in Charge John F. Bennett. The sentence, handed down today by the Honorable Lucy H. Koh, District Judge, follows a guilty plea in which Lemus admitted robbing the Castroville, Calif., branch of a federally-insured bank.

Lemus, 23, of Salinas, pleaded guilty on September 21, 2016, to one count of armed bank robbery and aiding and abetting.  According to the plea agreement, on August 22, 2011, Lemus entered the Castroville branch of the bank with another man who was carrying a loaded semi-automatic handgun.  Lemus and the other man both wore masks.   Lemus admitted that while the other man remained in the lobby and pointed the handgun at customers and employees, Lemus jumped over the partition door that separated the lobby area from the tellers.  Lemus went from teller station to teller station gathering money and placing it into a backpack.  Lemus acknowledged that he and the other robber absconded with approximately $44,000 of the bank’s money.

On August 18, 2016, Lemus was charged in a one-count information with armed bank robbery, aiding and abetting, in violation of 18 U.S.C. §§ 2213 (a), (d), and 2.  Pursuant to his plea agreement, Lemus pleaded guilty to the charge. 

In addition to the prison term, Judge Koh also ordered Lemus to pay $42, 930.01 in restitution and to serve five years of supervised release.  Lemus currently is in custody on state charges and will begin serving his sentence after the conclusion of his current state prison term. 

Assistant U.S. Attorneys Stephen Meyer, Jeffrey Backhus, and Claudia Quiroz are prosecuting the case with the assistance of Ryka Bargi, Jessica Meegan, and Nina Burney Williams.  The prosecution is the result of an investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Monterey County Sheriff’s Office.  The investigation was assisted by the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force, a focused multi-agency, multi-jurisdictional task force investigating and prosecuting the most significant drug trafficking and criminal organizations throughout the United States by leveraging the combined expertise of federal, state and local law enforcement agencies.

Updated January 27, 2017

Violent Crime