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Justice News

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

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Farmers Branch Man Pleads Guilty To Bank Robbery Charges

FBI Says Luis de la Garza was the “Mesh Mask Bandit”

DALLAS — Luis de la Garza, 59, of Farmers Branch, Texas, appeared this morning before U.S. Magistrate Judge Irma C. Ramirez and pleaded guilty to a superseding information charging five counts of bank robbery, announced U.S. Attorney Sarah R. Saldaña of the Northern District of Texas.

According to plea papers filed, de la Garza not only admits committing the five below-listed bank robberies, he stipulates that he committed an additional 13 bank robberies and an additional two attempted bank robberies in the Dallas – Fort Worth metroplex between April 2010 and May 2013.

March 18, 2013          Chase Bank                             6300 Harry Hines Blvd.
                                                                                                Dallas, Texas
April 5, 2013              Grand Prairie State Bank       2317 South Belt Line Rd.
                                                                                                Grand Prairie, Texas
April 22, 2013            Wells Fargo Bank                   13297 Josey Lane
                                                                                                Farmers Branch, Texas
April 29, 2013            Capital One Bank                   200 North Mesquite Street, Suite 121
                                                                                                Arlington, Texas
May 15, 2013              Chase Bank                             111 South Garland Ave., Suite 150
                                                                                                Garland, Texas

In each of these five bank robberies, de la Garza wore long-sleeved clothing, a mesh mask, cap and gloves to disguise his identity, and in each robbery he brandished and used a BB pistol.  In each of the robberies, the tellers were in fear for their lives.  During the last robbery, on May 15, 2013, a bank customer grabbed de la Garza’s pistol and struck him in the head.  While a struggle then ensued between de la Garza and a bank employee, de la Garza broke free and fled from the bank, leaving behind his pistol, which Garland Police Department determined was a CO2 BB gun.

De la Garza faces a maximum statutory penalty of 25 years in federal prison and a $250,000 fine for each of the five counts of conviction.  In addition, according to the terms of his plea, he will pay a total of $145,947 in restitution.  Sentencing is set for February 27, 2014, before U.S. District Judge Jane J. Boyle.

The investigation was conducted by the FBI, Dallas Police Department, Grand Prairie Police Department, Farmers Branch Police Department, Arlington Police Department, Garland Police Department, Carrollton Police Department, Addison Police Department, Lewisville Police Department and Plano Police Department.  Assistant U.S. Attorney Keith Robinson is in charge of the prosecution.

Updated June 22, 2015