Guatemalan Man Admits Robbing and Threatening Happy State Bank Employee with a Pipe Bomb
LUBBOCK, Texas — Eddie Estuardo Galindo-Mendez, age 44, a Guatemalan citizen, pleaded guilty today before U.S. Magistrate Judge D. Gordon Bryant, Jr., to bank robbery through the threatened use of a pipe bomb, announced Erin Nealy Cox, U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Texas.
Galindo-Mendez has been in custody since his arrest in March and will remain in federal custody. Galindo-Mendez faces a maximum statutory penalty of up to 20 years in federal prison and a $250,000 fine. Sentencing will be set by Senior United States District Judge Sam R. Cummings at a later date.
According to the plea agreement factual resume filed in the case, on November 20, 2017, about 3:00 p.m., Galindo-Mendez entered the Happy State Bank at 4402 19th Street, Lubbock, Texas and handed a note to a teller. The note contained words to the effect of: “There is a bomb. It is activated. Don’t push the button. No bait money. No ink.” Galindo-Mendez then placed an item that appeared to be a pipe bomb next to the teller’s computer. The device was made of capped galvanized pipes, duct tape, and wires connecting the device to a cell phone. Based upon Galindo-Mendez’s demands, the teller surrendered the money.
Surveillance videos later revealed the suspect fled the scene on a bicycle. Later review of the purported pipe bomb left at the bank determined it was inert.
Earlier that same day, at 1:46 p.m., the Texas Tech University Police Department (TTU PD) was notified of a suspicious package at Talkington Hall, Z2-D Parking Lot, 1803 Boston Avenue, Lubbock, Texas. TTU PD officers responded to that location and saw a gray Ford F-150 with its gas tank lid open. There were galvanized pipes with caps on both ends and duct tape around them hanging from the gas tank lid by a string. There was also a cell phone on the pipes with wires going from the phone to the pipes. TTU PD evacuated Merket Alumni Center, Talkington Hall, Horn Hall, and Knapp Hall. Upon further examination, the Lubbock County Sheriff’s Office Bomb Squad determined that the device was inert and processed it for evidence.
The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Lubbock County Sheriff’s Office, the Lubbock Police Department, and Texas Tech University Police Department investigated the case. Assistant U.S. Attorney Jeffrey R. Haag is in charge of the prosecution.
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