Due to the lapse in appropriations, Department of Justice websites will not be regularly updated. The Department’s essential law enforcement and national security functions will continue. Please refer to the Department of Justice’s contingency plan for more information.

You are here

Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, May 20, 2015

San Antonio Man Indicted for String of Bank Robberies Along Interstate-35

Willie James Cleveland, age 34, stands charged by federal grand jury indictment for a string of bank robberies earlier this year along the Interstate 35 corridor between Austin and San Antonio announced Acting United States Attorney Richard L. Durbin, Jr. and Special Agent in Charge Christopher Combs of the FBI’s San Antonio Division.

A federal grand jury indictment returned yesterday charges Cleveland with nine counts of bank robbery.  According to the indictment, Cleveland is responsible for the following bank robberies:

  • February 12, 2015 – Woodforest National Bank – 1500 block of N. Loop 1604 East in San Antonio;
  • February 18, 2015 – Woodforest National Bank – 9300 block of IH-35 South in Austin;
  • February 26, 2015 – Wells Fargo Bank – 1000 block of Texas Highway 80 in San Marcos;
  • March 14, 2015 – Wells Fargo Bank – 1200 block IH-35 South in New Braunfels;
  • March 16, 2015 – Chase Bank – 5400 block of IH-35 North in Austin;
  • March 26, 2015 and April 7, 2015 – Air Force Credit Union – 3100 block of Wurzbach in San Antonio;
  • April 16, 2015 – BBVA Compass Bank – 7500 block of Wurzbach in San Antonio; and,
  • April 18, 2015 – BBVA Compass Bank – 5700 block of Cameron Road in Austin.

The indictment also alleges that during the April 7th, April 16th and April 18th bank robberies, Cleveland assaulted, or put into jeopardy the life of, a bank employee while carrying out the incidents.  Authorities estimate that Cleveland stole a total of more than $50,000 as a result of the bank robberies.

Cleveland has remained in federal custody since his arrest by San Antonio Police Department Robbery detectives on April 20, 2015.  Upon conviction, Cleveland faces up to 25 years in federal prison for each of the three bank robberies where an assault is alleged; and, up to 20 years in federal prison for each of the remaining bank robbery counts.

The case resulted from a joint investigation by the FBI, San Antonio Police Department, Austin Police Department, San Marcos Police Department and the New Braunfels Police Department.  This case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Michael Galdo and Grant Sparks.

It is important to note that an indictment is merely a charge and should not be considered as evidence of guilt.  The defendant is considered innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.

Topic(s): 
Violent Crime
Component(s): 
Updated May 20, 2015