Third Roommate Pleads Guilty to Inside Job Bank Heist and Admits to Two Other Bank Robberies
Assistant U. S. Attorney Matthew Brehm (619) 546-8983
NEWS RELEASE SUMMARY – August 27, 2019
SAN DIEGO – Aldo De Jesus Gomez today became the last of three roommates to plead guilty to bank robbery and other related charges, admitting that in one instance, the trio staged a robbery at a San Diego Bank where one of the roomates worked as a teller.
Gomez pleaded guilty in federal court before U.S. Magistrate Judge Jill Burkhardt to an information charging him with Bank Robbery and Entering a Bank to Commit Larceny. Gomez and his roommates were convicted of stealing $23,070 from the Chase Bank in Mission Valley, where they pulled off an inside job with the roommate as teller. Gomez is scheduled to be sentenced on November 19 at 10:30 a.m. by U.S. District Judge Barry Ted Moskowitz.
Gomez admitted in his plea agreement that he, Jesus Ramon Garcia-Lopez, and Joe Anthony Mares researched, planned, and entered into an agreement to steal money from the Chase Bank located at 5111 Mission Center Road in San Diego, where Garcia was a teller. They recruited a fourth individual, known to them as “Spill Will,” to serve as the getaway driver. Pursuant to their plan, Mares wrote a demand note, which read, “Give me all the money in both top and bottom drawer or someone in the lobby dies give me 30 mins before alerting anyone or I will be back and shoot people right away,” and provided it along with his clothing to Gomez.
On June 6, 2018, at approximately 10:00 a.m., Gomez entered the Chase Bank branch wearing Mares’ clothing, approached Garcia’s teller window, and passed him the demand note Mares had written, all pursuant to the plan. Garcia took the demand note and passed Gomez approximately $23,070 in cash. Gomez took the cash, left the bank, and was driven away by Spill Will. Afterwards, Gomez admitted he provided Mares and Garcia with a portion of the stolen cash and kept more than $10,000 for himself. The weekend after the theft, Gomez, Mares, and Garcia went to clubs in Mexicali, Mexico and partied together, with Gomez paying their expenses.
Gomez further admitted that, on July 13, 2018, he entered a Chase Bank in Fairfield, California, a city in Northern California, midway between Sacramento and San Francisco, and approached a teller. Gomez handed her a demand note that instructed the teller to hand him money and took $5,000 in cash from her.
Gomez also admitted that, on September 15, 2018, he entered the Chase Bank located at 2303 N. Cottonwood Drive in Imperial, California, and approached a teller. He handed her a demand note that instructed the teller to hand him money in $100, $50, and $20 denominations, and warned the teller not to alert anyone or she would get hurt. The teller provided the defendant with $3,100 in cash and Gomez fled the bank.
“We are always working with federal and local law enforcement agencies, from San Diego to Imperial Valley to the Bay Area and points beyond, to bring serial criminals to justice,” said U.S. Attorney Robert Brewer. “There was no place this defendant could have fled to escape our coordinated efforts and now his cross-state crime spree has come to an end.”
“Since June 2018, the defendant embarked on a crime spree to fund his lifestyle,” said FBI Special Agent-In-Charge Scott Brunner. “Despite the distance between these individual crimes, investigators connected the cases. Today, Gomez has been brought to justice and is off the streets as a result of significant teamwork between the San Diego FBI Violent Crime Task Force and our law enforcement partners.”
“The successful conclusion of this case was due to coordinated and ongoing teamwork between the SDPD Robbery Unit, the FBI, and the Violent Crime and Human Trafficking Section (VCHT),
said San Diego Police Lt. Julie Epperson. “Collaboration with our law enforcement partners creates a stronger defense against criminals who prey on the public.”
“This case is a testament to the collaboration and incredible working relationship of all the involved law enforcement agencies and the United States Attorney’s Office that worked together to help bring those responsible in this case to justice,” said El Centro Police Chief Brian Johnson. “Our communities are safer because of the great work of the VCHT and local law enforcement agencies that worked tirelessly to solve these cases. A tremendous thank you goes out to all involved.”
Garcia-Lopez and Mares were sentenced earlier this year for their roles in the Mission Valley Chase Bank theft.
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 Brewer, 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.
DEFENDANTS Case Number 19cr1321-BTM
Aldo De Jesus Gomez Age: 22 San Diego, CA
Related Case - Case Number 18cr4349-BTM
Joe Anthony Mares Age: 22 El Cajon, CA
Jesus Ramon Garcia-Lopez Age: 21 Yuma, AZ
SUMMARY OF CHARGES
Bank Robbery – Title 18, U.S.C., Section 2113(a)
Maximum penalty: 20 years’ imprisonment and $250,000 fine
Entering a Bank to Commit Larceny – Title 18, U.S.C., Section 2113(a)
Maximum penalty: 20 years’ imprisonment and $250,000 fine
Federal Bureau of Investigations
San Diego Police Department
El Centro Police Department
Imperial Police Department
Fairfield Police Department