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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, August 19, 2020

Man Accused of Threatening the San Diego Pride Parade Sentenced to 70 Months for Armed Bank Robberies

Assistant U. S. Attorney Mario J. Peia (619) 546-9706

NEWS RELEASE SUMMARY – August 17, 2020

SAN DIEGO – A man who allegedly threatened to “kill all the gays and children” at the San Diego Pride parade was sentenced to 70 months in prison today after pleading guilty to one count of bank robbery and two counts of armed bank robbery.

According to a federal complaint, Andre Lafayette Holmes robbed US Bank on Campo Road in Spring Valley on November 4, 2016; Mission Federal Credit Union in San Diego on June 14, 2018, and California Bank and Trust on Fifth Avenue, also in San Diego, on June 28, 2019. In the first crime he claimed to have a gun; in the second and third robberies he pointed a pistol at tellers, the complaint said.

FBI agents identified Holmes as the armed bank robber in three unsolved cases following threats he made to the San Diego Pride Parade organizers on July 10, 2019. In the first of two late-morning phone calls to pride organizers’ main line, a caller stated: “I think I’m going to have to kill all the gays and the children.” He then repeated, “I’m going to have to kill the f------ and children.” The employee asked, “Sir, what’s your name?” The caller replied: “I don’t like them” and “I hate the f------.” He then hung up. About four minutes later, he called back. “F--- Donald Trump. I hate Hillary. I hate f---. I’m going to shoot up the Pride event.” The male caller repeated the same statement approximately four times.

On July 11, San Diego Police Department investigators identified the phone number as belonging to Holmes. They determined that Holmes drives a 2009 Toyota minivan registered in his name. They located Holmes near Miramar College and conducted a traffic stop. He was in possession of the phone from which the threats were made, the complaint said.

During subsequent searches of Holmes residence and vehicle, investigators discovered evidence of the armed bank robberies, including a gray semi-automatic pistol, a rubber “old man” style mask, a large bag of cash and clothing believed worn by the bank robber, among other things. They also found a Big Gulp 7-Eleven mug consistent with the one used during two of the robberies.

In the first robbery, the complaint alleges that Holmes used a demand note which said: “We have guns! I will personally shoot anyone you alert! Don’t make me jump over the counter and kill innocent people. Big bills only and I’ll calmly leave. Money now!!!!” On the back of the note, it said: “I’m sorry, good man on hard times. Sincerely, Bank Robber.”

In the second robbery at Mission Federal Credit Union, Holmes pulled a semi-automatic pistol from his pocket and pointed it at a teller and demanded money, the complaint said. He then proceeded to demand money from a second teller.

In the third robbery, Holmes again had a light-colored semiautomatic pistol and verbally demanded money.

Holmes is presently charged in the San Diego County Superior Court for the threats made to the San Diego Pride Parade.

“This dangerous defendant was apprehended because of excellent investigation by the FBI and terrific work by prosecutor Mario Peia,” said U.S. Attorney Robert Brewer. “Mr. Holmes terrorized bank employees and put their lives at risk, and for that he goes where he deserves to go-   prison.”

“The FBI is committed to investigating, prosecuting, and incarcerating dangerous violent criminals who threaten the safety and security of our community,” said Omer Meisel, Acting Special Agent in Charge of FBI's San Diego Field Office.  “Mr. Jones is a dangerous criminal who utilized a firearm in the commission of his crimes and today a violent criminal was brought to justice.” 

This case is the result of the ongoing efforts of the Violent Crime and Human Trafficking (VCHT) Section.  Formed in 2019, by U.S. Attorney Robert S. Brewer Jr., the VCHT is tasked with leading collaborations between federal and local law enforcement in the investigation and prosecution of cases involving violent crimes, firearms and gang cases; sex trafficking and child exploitation; civil rights, and labor trafficking. The VCHT Section oversees the Southern District of California Coordinators for Project Safe Neighborhoods, Human Trafficking, and Project Safe Childhood.

DEFENDANT                                               Case Number 19cr3018-LAB                                             

Andre Lafayette Holmes                                 Age: 31                                   San Diego, California

SUMMARY OF CHARGES

Bank Robbery – Title 18, U.S.C., Section 2113(a)

Maximum penalty: Twenty years

Armed Bank Robbery – Title 18, U.S.C., Section 2113(a) & (d)

Maximum penalty: Twenty five years

Brandishing a Firearm in Commission of Crime of Violence – Title 18, U.S.C., Section 924(c)

Maximum penalty: Life in prison; Consecutive mandatory minimum: Seven years

AGENCY

Federal Bureau of Investigation

San Diego Police Department

Topic(s): 
Violent Crime
Press Release Number: 
CAS20-0817-20
Updated August 19, 2020